Online Program

Minnesota mass vaccination exercises: Serving communities, exercising plans, and building partnerships

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Kathryn Haugen, REHS/RS, Emergency Preparedness and Response Section, Minnesota Department of Health, Saint Paul, MN
Jennifer Heath, DNP MPH RN, Vaccine Preventable Disease Section, Minnesota Department of Health, Saint Paul, MN
Cindy Borgen, MBA, Emergency Preparedness and Response Section, Minnesota Department of Health, Saint Paul, MN
Lucy Cosgrove, MPH, Vaccine Preventable Disease Section, Minnesota Department of Health, Saint Paul, MN
Laura Walker, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
While policies and laws often contribute to improved population health and increased health equity, they do not always lead to a collaborative approach between and within public health departments and partners. In Minnesota, new school immunization requirements and federal 317 funds allowed Community Health Boards and local/tribal health departments to collaborate, exercise their mass vaccination plans, and provide vaccines free of cost to schoolchildren. Most seventh graders in Minnesota required additional vaccinations before the beginning of the 2014 academic year. Collaboration between 52 local agencies and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) facilitated full-scale exercises of mass vaccination plans within local communities, while providing the needed vaccinations in schools and other settings. This presentation will focus on the mass vaccination exercise impacts, best practices, and lessons learned from MDH and local/tribal health departments, as well as the critical role of partnerships in increasing mass vaccination capacity and improving population health. Internal collaboration between department immunization and emergency preparedness staff at the state and local levels, as well as external collaboration with other health departments, healthcare providers, and schools, were critical to the success of the exercises overall. These partnerships were essential in pre-planning, assessment, consistent communication, public awareness, provision of vaccines and extra funding, and exercise logistics. In summary, the mass vaccination exercises across Minnesota were a success, and the collaboration at local and state levels was a best practice that strengthened partnerships, developed capacity, and contributed to increased adolescent immunization rates and overall public health preparedness.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Other professions or practice related to public health
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Describe the impacts of mass vaccination exercises on adolescent immunization rates Identify best practices in completing mass vaccination exercises with federal 317 funding Discuss the public health preparedness benefits of collaboration between and within health departments and partners

Keyword(s): Emergency Preparedness, Immunizations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was a lead on a summary report on 2013-2014 mass vaccination exercises that identified best practices and lessons learned, and was disseminated with local and tribal health departments throughout Minnesota. I am involved in ongoing data analysis of these mass vaccination exercises, and jointly work with the emergency preparedness and immunization sections in the Minnesota Department of Health in coordinating the ordering of vaccines for exercises in 2015-2016.
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.