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Story from the Field

Name of Health Department/Agency: Sedgwick County Health Department
State: KS
Date Added: 02/02/2010
Themes: Vaccine Planning and Administration
Issue Summary: LHD sets up diverse school-located H1N1 vaccination clinics
Description of Issue(s):

A staff member from the Health Department's Center for Health Equity (CHE) Division was temporarily reassigned to fill the position of H1N1 Branch Manager.  The position’s responsibilities were to set up, schedule, and facilitate the activities of the Sedgwick County’s School Located Vaccination Clinics for the 2009 H1N1 pandemic response.  The H1N1 Branch Manager worked closely with the H1N1 Deputy – Vaccines and external community partners, which consisted of school administrators and district/school nurses, to accomplish this task.

Actions taken to address the issue(s): When the Health Department opted to hold school-located vaccination clinics (SLVCs) in Sedgwick County, school administrators and nurses were contacted and given the opportunity to "opt in." Those schools choosing to opt in were placed in a lottery system to choose what order the SLVCs would take place. Consent Forms and Sedgwick County Health Department (SCHD) cover letters were sent out to parents in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Besides varying languages, the SLVCs were diverse on several other levels as well. Schools were located in urban, suburban, and rural parts of the county. District populations ranged from 100 to more than 50,000. Participating faith-based private schools included Catholic, Islamic, Lutheran, and Seventh Day Adventist. Nine of the county?s ten public school districts participated. Two of Wichita?s private universities, Friends and Newman held clinics, as well. Wichita State University, a public university, participated as a private provider. Their on-campus health clinic afforded them the opportunity to store vaccine and provide vaccinations on a daily basis.

During these clinics, volunteers helped to facilitate the vaccination process by assisting with set up and breakdown, directing the flow of the students, and by filling out necessary paperwork. This work allowed the nursing staff and approximately 248 licensed volunteers, who were contracted by SCHD, to vaccinate students safely and efficiently.

Outcomes that resulted from actions taken: The first of 184 clinics occurred on October 26, 2009. Due to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a lack of available vaccine, the SLVCs did not begin again until November 13, 2009. From that point on until January 13, 2010, another 179 clinics took place. Fifty-three of those SLVCs were held the week of December 14th through the 19th, including two that Saturday. To date, Sedgwick County and its SLVC partners have worked tirelessly to vaccinate over 16,000 students and staff.

A schedule of SLVCs was placed on the community calendar on Sedgwick County's H1N1 Web page to keep parents apprised of when and where each SLVC would take place.

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