In 1997, several members of the Northern Nevada
Immunization Coalition formed a partnership with a seven-year goal of closing
the gap between adolescents and children who began receiving hepatitis B
immunizations in 1991. Coalition partners included the Washoe County School
District, Washoe County District Health Department, Saint Mary's Health Network
and GlaxoSmithKline. Over the last seven years, the nurses involved in the
program have vaccinated 12,000 children with the series of 3 vaccinations, all
at no charge. All shots were provided at local middle schools, which included
both public and private schools in Washoe County.
In each of the last three years, GlaxoSmithKline has
donated $1,500 to be used as incentive dollars to increase school participation.
Any middle school with at least 50% or more of their eligible 7th grade students
completing the series at school was qualified for a portion of the incentive
dollars. At the end of each year, the schools who met the 50% marker split the
In September of 2001, the Northern Nevada Immunization
Coalition was successful in its petition to the Nevada State Board of Health to
have both hepatitis A and hepatitis B immunizations required for students
entering school in the state of Nevada. The new mandate impacted students
entering Nevada schools for the first time only. Unfortunately, the mandate does
not impact the students entering middle school at this time.