The School-Based Vaccination Program (SVP) provided
hepatitis B vaccine to fifth grade students in 150 public, private, and
parochial schools in a 10-parish area. A major thrust was to provide health
education to teachers and students on the importance of vaccinations as a
disease prevention strategy. Also, the concern about hepatitis B vaccine was of
The process began with a request from participating
school boards for database information on intended fifth grader students.
Inasmuch as the target population consisted of approximately 9,000 students,
this step was very important in preparation for entering consent/refusal
information after the start of the school year. Oftentimes, this process took
the entire summer to achieve. The data managers generally wanted this
information to be as accurate as possible, and in the format requested.
The next major step was staging a teacher conference
or conferences at the onset of the school year. One (5th grade) teacher
representative from each school was asked to attend. The purpose was primarily
health education, as it relates to hepatitis B
teaching materials, including a lesson plan on the
liver and hepatitis B.
A wealth of information was distributed at this
time, i.e., protocol for the lesson and distribution of consent packets; a
schedule of dose dates, and other logistical information.
Nurse(s) met on-site and administered hepatitis B
vaccine to students who had obtained parental consent. In some cases, school
nurses assisted with logistics, make-up doses, and student transfer information.
Every effort was made to properly document doses
received. It was a challenge to provide as many consenting students with ALL
THREE doses of vaccine, within the proper intervals. Once information was
finalized, it was forwarded to schools and parents, during May and June of that
academic year. The program provided an opportunity to come to a make-up day
during the summer, if a student had not completed the series.
We succeeded in vaccinating at least 64-67% of our
eligible population of roughly 7,800 to 8,600 students. The number of "eligible"
students steadily declined, as more and more students are acquiring the vaccine
on their own - a good thing, of course.
In the 2000-2001 school year, there were 9,330
targeted students: 1,490 indicated on the refusal portion of the form that their
child had already received or was in the process of receiving the vaccine. Out
of the eligible population of 7,840 students, approximately 5,270 students (or
67%) received at least 2 of the required 3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine!
Our school-based program ended after the 2001-02
school year. However, our efforts remain with community-wide vaccinations for
adults and adolescents, namely influenza, hepatitis B and pneumococcal vaccines
in nontraditional settings such as hospitals. We also serve as a contact for
hepatitis B vaccination records for those we vaccinated.