Barbara Murph1, Wendy Wadley2, Rowena Wooters1, Johnny Stevens1, Anita Greenman3, Aracelia Conde3, Claudia Coggin4, Jill Terry4, and Didi Ebert4. (1) Public Health Department/Outreach, City of Fort Worth, 1800 University Dr #220, Fort Worth, TX, USA, (2) Public Health/Outreach, City of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX, USA, (3) Public Health Department, Tarrant County, Fort Worth, TX, USA, (4) Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of North Texas Health Science Center, 3500 Camp Bowie #700, Fort Worth, TX, USA
KEYWORDS: walk-in, immunizations, fire stations
BACKGROUND: Hot Shots was an innovative partnership between the local health department and fire department developed to provide walk-in shot clinics.
OBJECTIVE: To increase immunization rates by providing shots at the fire stations for children five years and younger in the neighborhoods of underserved families.
METHOD: Two fire stations, within the city of Fort Worth, that were located in the largest pockets of need, i.e. low-income neighborhoods ($6,599 and $8,065) and high birth cohort rates (1,209 and 1,260 births per year) were chosen as potential clinic sites (1990 Census Data). An assessment was conducted in nearby apartments, public housing, daycares, and local businesses to determine the need for access to immunization services in these two areas. Results confirmed 41% of children less than three in the public housing units and 53% of children in three nearby daycares were under immunized. Fliers in Spanish and English were distributed to local daycares, churches, apartment complexes, and retailers. Newspaper and television media assisted with program promotion. Public health nurses trained and partnered with the paramedics and bilingual clerical staff to provide the immunizations. Clinics were held on Sunday afternoons and Thursday evenings biweekly during non-conventional hours.
RESULT: A total of 504 children (444 [88.1%] were five years or younger) were vaccinated, averaging 13 children per clinic. Overall, 426 (84.5%) of the children were Hispanic, 45 (8.9%) were Caucasian, 30 (6%) were African American, and three (0.6%) were other ethnic descent, of those 308 (61.1%) had no insurance, 143 (28.4%) had either CHIP or Medicaid, whereas 53 (10.5%) had insurance. Three hundred and three (60.1%) children were underimmunized.
CONCLUSION: Neighborhood partnerships that provide walk-in clinics with non-conventional hours are an effective means in raising immunization rates in underserved families with infants and preschoolers.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES: To determine if fire stations provided a non-threatening environment that facilitated the immunization of young children.