Hepatitis A, B, and C Prevention Programs
Information and Programs for Adults and Adolescents at Risk
 
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School-based programs for adolescents

 
Denver Health/Denver Public Schools Adolescent Immunization Program
Program name: Denver Health/Denver Public Schools Adolescent Immunization Program
Population served: Unvaccinated adolescents
Eligibility: All Denver Public School District middle school students (grades 6, 7, 8)
Region served: 112 square mile Denver metro area including 20 middle schools 
Funding: Partial grant funding from the Colorado State Health Department (vaccines, supplies, per diem staff) and partial funding from Denver Health Community Health (Nursing Clinical Coordinator)
Program started: Fall 1996, ended May 2003
Number of clients: 2,000-3,000 students per year are vaccinated
Contact: Anne Hammer, RN
Nursing Clinical Coordinator
777 Bannock Street
Mail Code #1930
Denver, CO 80204-4507
Phone: (303) 436-7924
Fax: (303) 436-3080
Email: Anne.Hammer@dhha.org
Website: None
Description:
The Colorado Board of Health mandated that after July 1, 1997, all students entering seventh-grade would be required to complete a 3-dose series of hepatitis B vaccine (as well as show proof of the second dose of MMR). In September 1996, a free, voluntary school-based hepatitis B vaccination program was implemented for Denver Public School (DPS) District sixth-grade students to prepare them for the seventh-grade requirements.

The Denver Public School district operates 20 middle schools with approximately 5,000 sixth-grade students. During the course of this seven-year program, all students had the opportunity to receive the hepatitis B and MMR vaccines free at their home school. In August, school principals and nurses received orientation regarding the vaccine program and parents were given the option to enroll their student in the program during the sixth-grade registration process. Additional educational presentations and materials were given to parents at Back-to-School nights in September. During the fall semester, students were taught about infectious diseases, hepatitis B, and vaccination in their science classes.

Once consent forms had been signed, nursing staff from Denver Health traveled to each DPS middle school to administer vaccines to those students enrolled in the program by their parent or guardian. The first dose of the 3-dose series was administered to the students during their science classes in September/October. The second dose was given in November/December and the last dose in January/February. The MMR vaccine was administered to the student along with the third dose if the parent choose this option on the consent form. Make-up clinics were held in March/April/May for students who missed any of the previous doses.

After completion of the clinics, a vaccination record was sent home to the parent with the student's report card. If appropriate, parents were also informed of a student's incomplete hepatitis B vaccination status and sites where they could complete the series. The school nurse was also provided with a vaccination record for those students who enrolled in the program. If identified on the consent form, the student's primary care physician/clinic received confirmation of vaccination at the completion of the program.

Financing the program through contracts with Managed Care organizations was attempted at the inception of the program and proved unsuccessful due to incomplete insurance information provided on the consent forms and changing insurer status during the school year.

Schools proved to be excellent sites to ensure completion of the vaccine series and to facilitate education of students and parents regarding protection from infectious diseases.


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