The Immunization Project at Texas Children's Hospital has two components – education and research. The team provides education and outreach to parents, health care providers and the public to inform them about immunization best practices and to support providers who administer immunizations. Second, they conduct research into improving immunization practices, including studies about effective delivery of vaccines and the effects of legislation on immunization rates. An integral part of these three activities is collaboration with the state and local health departments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local universities and community organizations.
One goal of the Immunization Project is to serve as an immunization resource for the community and to provide quality outreach and education. The Immunization Project operates an Immunization Helpline in which parents can call and obtain information about free or low cost immunizations. The Immunization Helpline information is available in English, Spanish, or Vietnamese.
In addition, the Immunization Project provides educational materials for the public and gives presentations to a variety of audiences, including schools, community organizations, medical clinics, national conferences and other professional forums. Outreach opportunities included presentations throughout Texas, in several local school districts, a regional school nurse conference and a HPV summit hosted by The Immunization Partnership.
Another vital component of the Immunization Project includes research, such as investigating barriers to adequate immunization and developing interventions to increase immunization coverage. The Immunization Project continues to seek funding to support these research projects aimed at improving immunization. The Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research at Texas Children’s Hospital (CVAR) and the Immunization Project are studying the effectiveness of pentavalent rotavirus vaccine in clinical practice. The Immunization Project completed a surveillance initiative in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine’s Section of Tropical Medicine in April to learn more about mosquito-borne diseases (West Nile virus, dengue, and chikungunya) in Houston-area children.
The Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research, with support from the Immunization Project, published Vaccine-Preventable Disease: The Forgotten Story Updated Edition in 2010. The original version Vaccine-Preventable Disease: The Forgotten Story was published in 2009. This book features 20 stories of real children and families whose lives were dramatically impacted by illnesses that could have been prevented by immunization.
The Center also developed a series of exam room posters based on selected stories from the book as an additional tool for pediatricians and family doctors to educate patients and families as well as a Spanish-language version, pertussis and meningitis one-page tearpads, and a short documentary film titled “Facing Meningitis,” which demonstrates the devastating effects of meningococcal meningitis. The video is available on YouTube and has been viewed more than 27,826 times since its release in November 2011. In September 2014, the Immunization Project team developed a short documentary film titled "Facing Influenza," which demonstrates the devestating effects of influenza. The video features three families impacted by influenza and has been viewed 9,214 times since its release.
Community Impact 2014
- The Immunization Helpline served nearly 2,330 persons in 2013-2014.
- Immunization Project staff reached approximately 1,200 people through immunization presentations, both locally and nationally.
- CVAR, with support from Immunization Project staff, distributed more than 5,000 copies of Vaccine-Preventable Disease: The Forgotten Story Updated Edition in 2013-2014. More than 146,000 copies of the book – including 12,600 Spanish versions – have been distributed since its original publication in 2009, in addition to more than 14,900 posters. Moreover, “Facing Meningitis” has been viewed more than 25,000 times since its release in November, 2011.