United States

National Influenza Vaccine Summit Announces Recipients of the 2009 Immunization Excellence Award Winners


Washington D.C. — 03/23/2009

The National Influenza Vaccine Summit announces the recipients of the Annual National Influenza Vaccine Summit (NIVS) Immunization Excellence Awards: Overall 2008-09 Season Activity: Sickness Prevention Achieved Through Regional Collaboration (SPARC), Lakeville, CT and Newton, MA; Healthcare Personnel Campaign: Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN;18 years and younger Campaign: The Wellness Company, Providence, RI; Coalition Campaign: Maryland Partnership for Prevention, Owings Mills, MD; and Corporate Campaign: MinuteClinic CVS/pharmacy, Minneapolis, MN, and National Women’s Health Resource Center, Red Bank, NJ.

The awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions towards improved adult and/or childhood influenza vaccination rates within their communities. The Awards will be presented at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Immunization Conference on Monday, March 30, 2009, and during the National Influenza Vaccine Summit meeting to be held on May 18-20, 2009 in Dallas, TX.

Overall 2008-09 Season Activity

The Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration (SPARC) established a nation-wide program called “Vote & Vax” that encouraged and assisted public health providers in offering influenza vaccinations at polling places on and around Election Day 2008. This innovative program, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, involved numerous national and local collaborators, including 132 public health agencies. Overcoming many implementation challenges, the program facilitated the delivery of 21,434 influenza vaccinations at 331 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. The initiative reached a crucial at-risk population: two-thirds were in CDC-defined priority groups and almost half (48%) of those immunized had not received an influenza vaccination the previous year or would not have received a vaccination without the “Vote & Vax” program.

Healthcare Personnel Campaign

Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota made significant impact on healthcare personnel through collaboration among stakeholders and strong program elements that led to a decrease in work absenteeism. The program is a year-round collaborative planning effort and includes newsletters, personal letters, presentations to workers, computerized tracking programs, roaming clinics, incentive drawings and prizes, and public posting of department vaccination rates. The overall healthcare personnel immunization rate increased 10% over the previous year to 74%, and they overcame several obstacles related to myths and labor issues.

18 years and younger Campaign

The Wellness Company conducted an innovative outreach campaign that successfully integrated stakeholders such as the Rhode Island Department of Health, schools, medical practices and community organizations. Incentive efforts in the “Vaccinate Before You Graduate” and Community Flu Site programs rewarded host sites for each child and adult vaccinated. These sites included local malls, YMCAs, libraries, and senior centers. Combined with an equally productive worksite program, The Wellness Company has delivered over 44,000 influenza doses during the 2008-09 season.

Special recognition:

Coalition Campaign Maryland Partnership for Prevention (MPP) conducted programs targeting adults, children, and healthcare personnel through partnerships with the community, providers, and the media. MPP coordinated initiatives and provided technical assistance and mini-grants to facilitate Maryland’s adult and childhood immunization coalitions’ efforts to increase influenza rates. Dozens of coalition members assisted in advancing MPP’s mission through unique programs like the “Gift of Prevention” campaign that delivered an extended season flu message to more than 10,000 Marylanders.

Corporate Campaign

This category recognizes corporate campaigns designed to increase awareness and delivery of influenza vaccinations nationwide. This year the Summit recognizes the contributions of two organizations:

  • MinuteClinic CVS/pharmacy
    The “Flu Shots Made Simple” campaign, initiated in mid September by CVS/pharmacy stores and its MinuteClinic health care centers, aimed to provide 1,000,000 flu vaccinations during the 2008/2009 flu season. To reach that goal, stores nationwide hosted approximately 7,500 flu shot clinic events and MinuteClinic provided flu vaccines every day on demand to people without an appointment at more than 500 U.S. locations. More than 6,000 nurse practitioners, registered nurses and pharmacists joined in this effort. The campaign utilized print, television, direct and in-store promotion to inform the public about the need for vaccinations consistent with CDC guidelines. A 1-888-FLU SHOT line was set up for information on flu shot options. By December 2008, more than 1,100,000 flu shots had been administered, topping the program’s goal by 100,000 vaccinations. Flu shots continue to be delivered at MinuteClinic health care centers through the end of the spring 2009 flu season.
  • National Women’s Health Resource Center
    The Center, in conjunction with the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, conducted outreach efforts through the media and communities, coalitions and involvement of other stakeholders to deliver the message to Mothers to Be regarding the importance of influenza vaccination. The “Flu Free and a Mom-to-Be: Protect Your Baby, Get a Flu Shot!” supported by CSL, Biotherapies, was designed to generate awareness, create a sense of urgency and be a call-to-action surrounding influenza vaccination among pregnant women. The project utilized print and electronic media to provide messaging to women and healthcare professionals.

Special appreciation goes to all that submitted nominations.

About the National Influenza Vaccine Summit
The National Influenza Vaccine Summit started in the year 2000, is co-sponsored by the American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Summit is an action-oriented entity with over 400 members who represent over 100 public and private organizations with an interest in addressing and resolving influenza and influenza vaccine issues. Summit participants include healthcare professionals, public health professionals, vaccine manufacturers and distributors, consumers, and others interested in preventing vaccine-preventable diseases. The Summit convenes each year to coordinate and collaborate in influenza prevention activities.

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