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School-based programs for adolescents

 
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, School-Based Vaccination
Program name: Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, School-Based Vaccination Program
Population served: Pre-adolescents
Eligibility: Fifth grade students
Region served: Ten-parish area
Funding: AHEC grant, Children Miracle Network, hospital contributions, Baton Rouge Health Forum, and others
Program started: 1992, ended 2002
Number of clients: Approximately 5,500
Contact: Dale Marioneaux, Program Coordinator
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
LSU Medical Center/EKL Medical Center
5825 Airline Highway-LSU Unit
Baton Rouge, LA 70805
Phone: (225) 354-2001
Fax: (225) 358-1076
Email: dbell6@lsuhsc.edu
Website: None
Description:

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 particular importance.

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 to provide:

  • health education, as it relates to hepatitis B disease
  • program information
  • 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.


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