202015 Improving preschool flu vaccination levels: An innovative partnership between local Head Start, school of nursing, and health department

Monday, November 9, 2009: 12:45 PM

Larry Vitale, RN, PHN, MPA , School of Nursing, Samuel Merritt University, Oakland, CA
Jennifer Galindo, MA , Oakland Head Start, Oakland, CA
Renee Cheney-Cohen, MPH , Immunization Assistance Project, Alameda County Public Health Department, Oakland, CA
Beginning in the 2006-07 flu season, the ACIP recommended annual vaccination of all children aged 6 59 months. Current immunization levels in this age group are still low- approximately 37%.To assist with the full implementation of the ACIP recommendation, the AAP and CDC have suggested that influenza vaccine could be offered at alternative venues such as schools.

In Oakland CA, an effort to increase the immunization levels of children participating in Head Start led to the development of a partnership between the county public health department, the Head Start program, and a baccalaureate nursing program. Flu vaccine, LAIV and TIV, were administered at 12 Head Start centers with 37% (296) of the enrolled children being vaccinated.

This partnership allowed all parties to jointly work towards an all-benefitting result. The health department utilized the immunization registry and supplied the vaccines. Head Start organized all the logistics and recruitment for these clinics. The community health nursing students reviewed screening forms and administered the vaccine. Consequently, the health department improved immunization coverage. Head Start children benefitted from easy access to the flu vaccine. Parents were particularly pleased by the ease of administering the intranasal LAIV. The nursing students professionally grew from a valuable community health nursing experience.

This low-cost intervention is sustainable because each year vaccine is made available through the VFC program and clinical nursing rotations are always eager to participate in community health efforts. The program will be repeated in Oakland and expanded to San Francisco in 2009.

Learning Objectives:
Analyze two issues surrounding the ACIP immunization recommendations for young children. Identify an opportunity to form a partnership with a local school of nursing to help improve childhood immunization rates. Describe two key elements of a successful partnership Formulate a local plan to implement flu clinics in Head Start settings

Keywords: Immunizations, Head Start

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Clinical Nursing Instructor that was primarily responsible for this project
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.