Online Program

Increasing influenza vaccination rates through a high school classroom intervention

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 12:50 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.

Tom Benton, MD, MPH, University of Florida, GAINESVILLE, FL
Scot Flamand, Bucholz High School
Mary Peoples-Shep, DrPH, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Parker Small Jr., MD, Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Background: Alachua County has offered School Located Influenza Vaccination (SLIV) to kindergarten through 12th grade students for three years. As is true nationwide, the immunization rate of high school students has been much lower than the for K-8 students. Description: We developed a single 50 minute classroom session that included a power point presentation and a class exercise, the Community Immunity Game, designed to demonstrate the impact of influenza immunization on a group. The game involved simulating two influenza outbreaks; one in an unimmunized population and the second outbreak in a population in which half are immunized. The session was delivered by high school science teachers to 382 9th graders in one high school in the county. Intent to receive an influenza vaccination was assessed via pre and post-tests administered during the same session. Results: Forty-six percent of the students, who initially did not intend to get immunized, changed their intent following the intervention (p < 0.0001). Further, the percent of students in the intervention group who received immunization at school (141/382, 36.9%) was significantly higher than the percent achieved among other Alachua County high school 9th graders (338/1566, 21.6%; p<0.0001). We compared the results across multiple teachers and found no significant difference. Conclusions: This intervention is a useful tool to increase both intent to be immunized and immunization rates among 9th grade students in a SLIV program.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
Explain how the protective benefit of flu immunization in schools accrues to the adult community as well as the children. Discuss the challenges of getting high school students immunized against influenza Identify the value of a 50 minute intervention, which includes the Community Immunity Game, on influenza immunization rates. Demonstrate how to play the Community Immunity Game with school, church or other groups

Keyword(s): School-Based Programs, Immunizations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I participated in this research as an investigator and analyzed the data. This was the topic of my masters thesis.
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.