Wednesday, March 19, 2008 - 9:05 AM

What's Up With Adolescent Immunizations in New Jersey?

Barbara Giudici-Knapp, NJ Department of Health & Senior Services, 3635 Quaker Bridge Road, Mercerville, NJ, USA, Ruth S. Gubernick, NJ PCORE, 5 Woodbury Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ, USA, and Steven Kairys, Chair., Pediatrics, Jersey Shore Univ. Med. Center, 1945 Route 33, Neptune, NJ, USA.

Learning Objectives for this Presentation:
By the end of the presentation participants will be able to:
(1) discuss adolescent immunization focused activities in NJ and (2) develop strategies to improve adolescent immunization rates.

With the advent of new vaccines for adolescents, the NJDHSS, VPDP is using a multi-faceted approach to establish and build its Adolescent Immunization Unit. These adolescent focused activities are being developed with partners such as the NJ Pediatric Council on Research and Education (NJ PCORE), the Juvenile Justice Centers (JJCs) and the Local Health Departments (LHDs). The overall goal is to improve the immunization rates for New Jersey adolescents.

Primary care practices in targeted communities; alternative health care settings, such as JJCs for long or short term incarcerated youth, and local health departments.

NJ's 1.0 Million adolescents, 11 to 18 years old, needing immunizations, along with adolescent well-care in a medical home or at alternative healthcare sites.

Project Description:
PCORE's Adolescent Immunizations Community Partnership (AICP) works within communities, involves adolescents, parents, schools and the whole health community, while targeting individual practices for improvements in their immunization service delivery and adolescent well-care visits. As a result of the positive interaction of the CDC's JJC project, NJ has continued that partnership with its own JJC Adolescent Project, to improve immunization rates of incarcerated youth in six facilities in 2007. LHDs have responded enthusiastically to pilot adolescent only vaccination clinics through 2008. All participants in these initiatives must be VFC providers, have baseline CoCASA and AFIX visits and use the NJIIS to record immunizations.

Results/Lessons Learned:
Lack of data exists on current practices by primary care providers regarding well-care for adolescents. Need to gain insight and data related to current adolescent immunization rates, identify barriers to adolescents needing immunizations and implement several different strategies, in both medical home and alternative health care settings, to increase adolescent immunization rates.