22703 Evaluation of H1N1 and Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Availability in a Large Metropolitan Area through the Evaluation of a Network of Primary Care Providers

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Grand Hall
Ashley Frericks, BS , MPH Student, University of Louisville
Trinidad Jackson, MS , MPH Student, University of Louisville

Background: Distribution of H1N1 vaccine throughout communities using an approach that successfully targets high risk individuals has proven to be a public health challenge.  Understanding the distribution networks that currently exist and the networks that need to exist are essential elements in a plan that serves the public during emergencies and daily operations.  The goal of this project was to utilize the primary care provider network willing to administer H1N1 vaccine in their office settings and determine their practices regarding H1N1 and seasonal influenza vaccine administration.

Setting: Primary care providers in the Louisville KY metro area

Population: Primary care providers include pediatricians and family medicine offices.

Project Description: Prior to vaccine availability, the Commonwealth of Kentucky utilized the existing Kentucky Health Emergency Listing of Professionals for Surge system to identify primary care providers, and others, willing to accept the responsibilities and administer H1N1 vaccine to their patients in their office/facility settings.  We surveyed all participating primary care providers in order to determine their ordering and administration practices for seasonal and H1N1 vaccine.  We also surveyed patients attending public health clinic events to identify whether those receiving vaccine from the health department in fact had access to primary care providers who were providing H1N1 vaccine.  The goals were to better understand the attitudes and office practices regarding influenza immunization among these providers as a means of identifying policy issues and interventions and to begin identification of influenza vaccination capacity, including potential "vaccination deserts" within the metro area.

Results/Lessons Learned: Establishment of the primary care provider network for H1N1 vaccine administration has been a success but when surveying the providers, a variety of practices and influences have been identified among offices and staff concerning influenza vaccine (seasonal and H1N1).   Areas where H1N1 and seasonal influenza vaccine are not available from primary care provider offices have been identified for geospatial mapping as a visual demonstration with information grouped according to Metro Council districts.  This information will be valuable in development of policy and interventions that address medical practice differences, health disparities and inequities in access to vaccines.

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