School-located influenza vaccination program effectiveness: An observational, descriptive case study.
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Introduction: Children have the highest influenza infection rates of all population groups. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends annual universal influenza vaccination of all persons ≥ 6 months of age. Many school-aged children do not receive recommended vaccinations and experience influenza, which results in poor health, absences from school, and transmission of infection to family and community members.
Aims and Objectives: The purpose of this evaluation was to determine the effectiveness of a school located influenza vaccination program planned and operated by public health nurses.
Materials and Methods: A descriptive, case study approach was used. A convenience sample included 58 schools located in urban and rural settings with a total enrollment of 13,356 children aged 5-18 years in 2010-11 school year. Program evaluation methods included analysis of program data, survey of public health and school personnel, public health nursing grand rounds, and benchmarking. Measures included vaccination rates, operational and financial factors, survey results and benchmarks.
Results and Discussion: The baseline influenza vaccination rate was 21% in 2010-11 school year. Results of clinics operated during school hours was 30.38% (SD=7.02) and after school hours clinics was 16.27% (SD=7.47), t(56)=7.0, p<0.01. All clinics were held during school-hours in 2011 and 2012 with rates of 19% and 28% respectively. Urban to rural schools vaccination rate proportions were 16:31% (0.52), 15:28% (0.54), and 24:34% (0.71) in 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years respectively.
Conclusion: Pragmatic interpretation of evaluation findings supported improvements, decision making, and knowledge discovery. Though not reaching the goal of 50% coverage, the program progressed toward the goal.
Key words: public health nursing, influenza; vaccination; schools; child; population health, evaluation.
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