Thursday, March 20, 2008 - 9:05 AM

Childhood Immunization Rates in a Small Migrant and Seasonal Farm Worker Community in Central California

Karen Turner, Immunization Branch, CA Department of Public Health, 3374 E. Shields Ave., Room C-16, Fresno, CA, USA

Learning Objectives for this Presentation:
1.Describe the unique setting of migrant communities.
2.Understand the barriers to immunization that migrant communities experience.
3.Describe how some providers have overcome those barriers to achieve high immunization rates

Avenal California is a small rural mainly Hispanic community located in Central California. This community is home to many migrant families. We wanted to look at immunization rates within Avenal and see if the vaccination coverage estimates in this region matched the vaccination coverage estimates from the CDC's 2005 National Immunization Survey that indicated that on a national level childhood vaccination coverage levels were similar among racial/ethnic groups.

Avenal California is home to many migrant or seasonal farm workers.

Avenal California is a small rural community in Kings County, California. The population was 15,689 on the 2000 census. 7,062 of these residents were inmates at the Avenal State Prison (which leaves a population of 8,627). Most of the residents of this community work either at the prison or in the agriculture industry as a migrant or seasonal farm worker.

Project Description:
We wanted to find out if immunization rates in Avenal California were consistent with National and State Immunization Rates. We were interested in knowing if a population that was mostly foreign-born and who lived a migratory lifestyle were experiencing barriers to care. If so, what are they? Are there any community based activities that may have improved either the utilization of immunization services of the effectiveness of the immunization services?

Results/Lessons Learned:
1. Immunization rates varied by provider
2.Use of CAIR (The California Automated Immunization Registry) was somewhat helpful identifying the children but of the six providers in this community only three (50%) were currently using the registry.
3. Highest rates were found in private provider offices that had strong ties to the community.