Tuesday, March 18, 2008 - 11:35 AM

Using Non-Traditional Settings to Deliver Free Influenza Immunizations for Minority Populations

Patricia Lynn Peterson, Community Health, Fairview Health Services, 2450 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Learning Objectives for this Presentation:
By the end of the presentation participants will be able to:
1.Identify barriers to immunizations for minority populations
2.Articulate standards for vaccine delivery in non-traditional settings
3.Understand how to replicate a community based model for increasing immunizations

Minnesota is a healthy State and leads the nation in health outcomes. However, there is discrepancy and disparity when health statistics in minority populations are considered. For instance, Minnesota has 77% immunization coverage in the White population. Influenza immunization statistics are not readily available for populations of color but the pneumococcal immunization rate for African American elders is only 22.5%. It is important that influenza immunization rates are increased. Influenza is a preventable disease yet in 2006 - 07, 6 Minnesota children died from complications of influenza. The CDC says flu kills 36,000 people and hospitalizes 200,000 annually.

Non-traditional sites specifically faith communities, community centers, homeless shelters, shopping malls

Persons age 3 through adults in minority populations African American, Native American, Latino, and Somali

Project Description:
Led by the Minnesota Faith Health Consortium, five different organizations representing primarily 4 minority groups formed the MINI Project -Minnesota Immunization Networking Initiative - for the purpose of delivering free influenza immunizations in non-traditional settings in the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Healthcare professionals both contract and volunteer, delivered the vaccine. Injectable and intranasal vaccine was either purchased or donated by corporations. Funding was provided by a private foundation. This project was a pilot program that included a pandemic exercise in delivering mass immunizations.

Results/Lessons Learned:
In the 2006-07 flu season, 5,000 persons were immunized at no cost. Community and faith based organizations can utilize their earned trust to overcome barriers to immunizations.