228200 Teaming Up Against H1N1: Collaborative Efforts Using a School Based Immunization Model

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Marian Harmon, RN, MSN , School Health, Arlington County Division of Public Health, Arlington, VA
Rachel Mitrovich, MPH , School Health, Arlington County Division of Public Health, Arlington, VA
Karin Beecroft, RN , School Health, Arlington County Division of Public Health, Arlington, VA
Margaret Kilroy, RN , School Health, Arlington County Division of Public Health, Arlington, VA
Margaret Ostafin, MPH, RN , Department of Human Services, Public Health, Arlington County Government, Arlington, VA
Background: According to the 2009, recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), H1N1 influenza vaccine should be administered to all children ages six months through 24 years. To increase coverage rates in the geographic region, 23,000 students between Pre-Kindergarten and 12th grade were targeted in a mass school vaccination campaign following the Incident Command System developed by FEMA. To implement a vaccination program of this size and design, collaboration between the public health department, schools, and school administration is imperative for expedited vaccine administration.

Methods: School and health department leadership met bi-weekly starting in September 2009, to plan mass vaccination for all students between Pre-Kindergarten and 12th grade in both public and private schools. Collaboration between the public health department, the school's superintendent, principals, and the Catholic Diocese allowed for planning of operations and logistics: mailing consent forms for over 20,000 students; planning of comprehensive operations for clinics in each location; central review of consents; tracking inventory of vaccine and related supplies. Communication was systematically disseminated to all schools and parents via Internet on established school communication networks and through a formally organized H1N1 Call Center.

Results: From October 2009 to January 2010, vaccinating teams conducted a total of 130 clinics in schools and dispensed approximately 16,800 doses of H1N1 (total includes second doses for children 9 and under). This resulted in a vaccination rate of 50% in the target population. The number of school based immunization clinics were determined by the amount of consents received and vaccine availability.

Conclusion: Collaborative efforts between several prominent stakeholders made it possible to administer H1N1 influenza vaccine to the target population. The school based immunization model used was successful in achieving a high vaccination rate for students, thereby providing indirect protection to the community at large. This model also served as a test of our ability to prepare and rapidly mobilize a vaccine campaign for future pandemic outbreaks.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of using a school based immunization model 2. Discuss the collaboration between the Arlington County Public Health Department and Arlington Public Schools in the administration of a school based mass vaccination campaign 3. Explain the role of the Public Health Nurse in Arlington County Public Schools

Keywords: Immunizations, Disease Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have an extensive background in public health communications and the execution of program design and implementation
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.