Background: Community vaccinators play a more significant role in influenza vaccination each year as more and more consumers look to alternative sites to receive influenza vaccinations. They are highly visible and have the ability to increase vaccination rates significantly. Public concern about the safety of influenza vaccinations in outreach settings (grocery stores, retail sites, pharmacies, drop-in clinics) inspired the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to create this program.
Setting: Non-traditional influenza vaccination settings, such as grocery stores, retail sites, pharmacies, and drop-in clinics.
Population: Community vaccinators, pharmacists, influenza providers
Project Description: The Mark of Excellence program is a partnership with community vaccinators who deliver influenza vaccine in non-traditional settings. The program provides training and site visits to assure that vaccines provided outside of a regular clinic setting are handled and administered according to best practices. Mark of Excellence is a voluntary, quality assurance program created to increase consumer confidence in influenza vaccinations given in alternative or outreach settings. Participants are provided with posters, buttons, and certificates to advertise their participation in the program
Results/Lessons Learned: Program is now in its fourth year. Evaluations have consistently been very positive. MN Pharmacists Association requested expansion of the program recently to include pharmacists. Mark of Excellence community vaccinators proved to be very effective and reliable partners in the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccination campaign, as a ready-trained pool of vaccinators to assist in administering vaccine in alternative sites, including schools. They also provided vaccine to select nursing homes within the state that had seasonal vaccine shortages in 2009.