Background: Influenza vaccination benefits children, the population with the highest rate of infection, by protecting them from influenza illness. Families, schools and the larger community are also protected because children are important vectors for disease transmission. School-located influenza vaccination (SLIV) clinics are a critical point of access for the school-aged cohort to receive their annual influenza vaccine. Many county health departments partner with local and state stakeholders to overcome financial and administrative barriers that may inhibit program expansion and sustainability. Nontraditional relationships among unique community resources may also affect the efficiency, safety, sustainability and positive attitudes toward SLIV programs.
Setting: Public and private elementary, middle and high schools: a local detention center.
Population: All school-aged children in participating schools who do not have a contraindication to influenza vaccine, as well as other family members and school staff.
Project Description: State and local stakeholders are provided with SLIV program objectives and support is solicited. Unique stakeholders include administrators of a local health system whose nurses participate in community service to advance on their clinical ladders and adjacent county health department administrators who share supplemental nursing staff for SLIV clinics. Meetings are held throughout the year to plan and implement program details.
Results/Lessons Learned: Cultivating relationships among unique stakeholders within a community can offset the cost of extra staffing needs, improve vaccine safety and increase program capacity to include more participants, including school staff and parents interested in receiving a flu vaccine. Addressing barriers and promoting a positive image of SLIV programs are the cornerstone of sustaining SLIV programs.