Leveraging Existing Health Systems and Community Infrastructure to Complete Pediatric Immunization Series in Urban Neighborhoods
Vaccines are widely viewed as one of the most successful public health tools in history. Despite great success globally, many children in medically underserved areas of the United States such as Detroit remain unvaccinated. At present, Detroit has one of the highest proportions of residents living below the poverty line in the United States. Although vaccines for disadvantaged children are made available free-of-charge through the federally-funded Vaccines for Children Program (VFC), recent data (June 2015) from Detroit shows that only 40% of children have completed primary vaccination series where Healthy People 2020 aims to reach 90% for several pediatric vaccines. The aim of this project is to evaluate a network of Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) and vaccine champions who will be engaged to conduct outreach/education for vaccines and health literacy, and facilitate access points to help disadvantaged residents identify VFC clinics nearest to their current residence. The Henry Ford Health System Mobile Medical Clinic will also be engaged to provide supplemental immunization opportunities in coordination with FBOs. Parents and legal guardians will be surveyed to identify potential barriers they have encountered in the course of seeking immunizations for their children. Individual vaccines and primary vaccination series delivered to children will be recorded and tracked using the Michigan Care Improvement Registry. We expect this innovative program to significantly increase childhood immunization rates among disadvantaged Detroit families living in poverty. The lessons learned and best practices implemented during this project will be analyzed to identify optimal strategies for generalized use among other low income populations suffering from disparities in childhood immunizations across the United States.
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