230141 Expanding immunization access for adults through outreach and affordability

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Christine T. Schmidt, RN, MSN , Community Health Services Division, Jefferson County Public Health, Lakewood, CO
Leslie Felts, RN, BSN , Community Health Services, Jefferson County Public Health, Lakewood, CO
Carla Opp, REHS , Environmental Health Services, Jefferson County Public Health, Golden, CO
In 2009-2010 unique opportunities to expand adult access to immunization became available to Colorado local public health departments through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This health department was granted three project awards to improve at risk adult immunization coverage. The first project, “Metro Area Food Safety,” recruits food handlers for participation in Hepatitis A prevention education and vaccination. Public health nurses (PHN), collaborate with environmental health specialists (EHS) and communications specialists to develop promotion and educational materials emphasizing best practices for prevention of Hepatitis A disease. EHS distributes materials to approximately 1,300 retail food establishments on routine inspections. EHS staff also targets 40 higher risk establishments handling large volume produce and ready-to-eat foods with concentrated in-depth education and promotion. In 2005 the highest reported incidence of Hepatitis A in Colorado was in the 15 to 19 year old population. Targeting food service workers helps address this high risk group. For over ten years this county's reported pertussis cases exceeded state and national averages. Tdap vaccination has since reduced cases significantly. The “Tdap Cocooning,” project works to envelop infants in layers of adult caregivers in the home and community who receive Tdap vaccine for prevention of pertussis transmission to vulnerable infants. The U.S. Department of Labor reports allied health professions as representing 60 percent of the American health care workforce and being among the fastest growing occupations. The third project, “Vaccination and Orientation of Allied Health Students,” targets students in health fields to offer generally required immunizations to prevent disease transmission during patient care, while engaging the students in learning the basics of vaccine immunity, delivery, and safety with credible resources for further learning and practice. Together these projects employ a public health nurse and an administrative specialist who collaborate with community partners to reach target populations, provide low cost immunizations, conduct evaluation through analysis of participation data and learning and satisfaction surveys, and serve as a resource for current disease control and immunization information and standards of practice to reduce risk for vaccine-preventable diseases in this community.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Environmental health sciences
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
1) Identify three potential community partners for reaching food handlers for hepatitis A education and vaccination. 2) Discuss two strategies for increasing Tdap vaccination among adults who provide care for infants. 3) Assess at least two immunization learning needs of allied health field students.

Keywords: Immunizations, Access and Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I will have no financial benefit from presenting 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.