Monday, March 26, 2012
Background: Immunization requirements for U.S. secondary educational institutions vary. Currently the only legislated immunization for college students enrolled in non-health science curricula in Texas is the meningococcal vaccine. Vaccine-preventable diseases have the potential to produce adverse effects within the college population including poor academic performance, lost work and academic days in addition to increased morbidity and potential mortality. Lack of access to health care, preventive screenings and receipt of recommended immunizations pose a health risk not only to individual students but also to the college population and community.
Setting:The Lone Star College System is a community college system consisting of five campuses in eastern Texas
Population:Total student population 61,824 Project Description: The purpose of this project was to gather baseline data regarding immunization knowledge and immunization rates among community college students. A descriptive study utilizing a 10-item survey was delivered to 536 students at an eastern Texas community college in the spring of 2010. A convenience sample was obtained and submissions were voluntary and anonymous.
Results/Lessons Learned:61.5% of respondents were unaware of recommended immunizations for their age. 23.9% of respondents reported that their immunizations were either not up-to-date or uncertain of immunization status. Suboptimal immunization levels among the college population pose several potential threats. Knowledge regarding why young adults do not receive immunizations may improve immunization rates within this population. Assessment of vaccine coverage levels and knowledge regarding vaccines along with administration of recommended vaccines are simple cost-effective interventions to promote health within this population. There is a lack of literature and evidence-based interventions related to college student health and academic success. The results of this study demonstrate the health care needs of this often neglected population.