Improving Immunization Coverage in a Rural School District in Pierce County, Washington
ABSTRACT Washington State has some of the highest percentages of school immunization exemptions in the country. We compared school immunization records in a rural school district in Pierce County, Washington, to immunization records in the state immunization information system (IIS) and parent-held records. Correcting school immunization records resulted in an increase in the number of students classified as fully immunized from 1,189 to 1,564 (p < .0001). We conducted school-based immunization clinics that increased the number of fully immunized students to 1,624 (p = .013). Immunized students with certificates of exemption on file suggest exemptions of convenience. Strategies to improve school immunization services include assigning IIS access to school administrative staff and educating school staff and parents on the importance of immunization.
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ABSTRACT: Seasonal influenza is recognized as a significant health burden to children and is a cause of excess school absenteeism in children. In 2008, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended annual influenza vaccination for all children 6 months to 18 years of age. School nurses influence participation in this recommendation by conducting school-located influenza vaccination (SLIV) programs at their campuses. Knowing the effect of SLIV programs on student absenteeism may motivate school nurses and district administrators to conduct such vaccination programs. This study examines the impact of an SLIV program on elementary school absenteeism in an inner city school district with a predominantly Hispanic population. Using Poisson regression models with robust standard errors, we analyzed data from 3,775 records obtained by stratified random sampling. Results of the study indicate that students vaccinated through an SLIV program have fewer absences than unvaccinated students. A surprising result of the study shows that students vaccinated through an SLIV program had fewer absences than students vaccinated elsewhere. These results are of particular importance to school nurses who work with large Hispanic populations. Our study illustrates one way that a school nurse can assess the effect of an SLIV program on absenteeism.The Journal of School Nursing 04/2013; 29(4). DOI:10.1177/1059840513486008 · 1.01 Impact Factor
- The Journal of School Nursing 08/2013; 29(4):258-9. DOI:10.1177/1059840513494578 · 1.01 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: During 2010-2011, varicella vaccination was an added requirement for school entrance in Wyoming. Vaccination exemption rates were compared during the 2009-2010 and 2011-2012 school years, and impacts of implementing a new childhood vaccine requirement were evaluated. All public schools, grades K-12, were required to report vaccination status of enrolled children for the 2009-2010 and 2011-2012 school years to the Wyoming Department of Health. Exemption data were analyzed by exemption category, vaccine, county, grade, and rurality. The proportion of children exempt for ≥1 vaccine increased from 1.2% (1,035/87,398) during the 2009-2010 school year to 1.9% (1,678/89,476) during 2011-2012. In 2011, exemptions were lowest (1.5%) in urban areas and highest (2.6%) in the most rural areas, and varicella vaccine exemptions represented 67.1% (294/438) of single vaccination exemptions. Implementation of a new vaccination requirement for school admission led to an increased exemption rate across Wyoming.The Journal of School Nursing 01/2014; 30(5). DOI:10.1177/1059840513518439 · 1.01 Impact Factor