Abstract: Vaccine Education Class for Those Seeking Exemption (43rd National Immunization Conference (NIC))

112 Vaccine Education Class for Those Seeking Exemption

Thursday, April 2, 2009: 9:25 AM
Lone Star Ballroom A1/A2

Studies have shown ever increasing hesitancy of clients to immunize. In a desire to empower clients to make informed, responsible decision regarding their own or their child's vaccination status & to create a safe & healthy population the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) implemented a vaccine education class.

5 public health clinics, 2 outlying clinics servicing a population of 2 million people.

Adults receiving vaccines for themselves or their children. SNHD issues approximately 90,000 health cards a year, this program requires a hepatitis A vaccine. SNHD immunizes approximately 100,000 clients for childhood vaccines giving approximately 250,000 vaccines a year.

Project Description:
SNHD identified key factors underlying the increased hesitancy to vaccinate. Clients will meet with a nurse to discuss their concerns. If they declined immunization due to religious beliefs they are given the number to call to sign up for the class. Clients are referred to the class from the health card process, school system, or SNHD clinics. Classes are given biweekly by a registered nurse. Information on all vaccines is reviewed & opportunities are given for questions. At the conclusion, the client is given the opportunity to receive the vaccine or sign a declination. If the adult signs the declination they go to the Chief Health Officer & receive an exemption. Medical exemptions require a letter from MD & will be directly referred to Chief Health Officer. This class enables clients to make responsible & informed decisions regarding immunizations. The goal is to reduce vaccine hesitancy & immunization exemptions.

Results/Lessons Learned:
Having to take the class will detour clients from seeking exemption. Standardization of exemption process helped the staff of SNHD have an understanding of reasons for vaccine hesitancy. Clients will listen to the media first making it hard to trust the medical community. Peer pressure will keep clients from receiving vaccine.