Kristi Rice, MD, FAAP
Co-chair, WCAAP Vaccine Committee
The WCAAP Vaccine committee has been busy coordinating and assisting in many efforts. Over the last year, members have been meeting with the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) to help plan the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines to clinics, anticipating roadblocks and collaborating on materials for patients and clinics. We continue to work together as the vaccine rolls down to younger age groups.
Washington DOH data on immunizations trends is similar to US data, with an overall decrease in immunization rates over the last two years.
Washington State 2021 Vaccine Administration:
- The number of vaccines administered to 0-18 year olds improved slightly from the decline seen in 2020 but was still below average (-13.1%), and varied by age group
- 4-6 years: 13.3% decrease
- 11-12 years: 5.8% decrease
- 13-17 year: 16.8% decrease
- In the 0-24 month age group, fewer doses were administered in 2021 (-13%) than in 2020 (-9.7%)
Note: This last age group, 0-24 months, is also at high risk for missed developmental surveillance and screenings and delays that might go unnoticed and untreated, so will be a focus of our attention.
In an effort to help with patient education, try downloading this easily editable vaccine graphic you can use in your exam rooms.
One note for this fall: Washington Immunization requirements are changing for those attending Pre-K/pre-schools attached to K12 schools, ECEAP or Head Start.
- Students who are four years old or older on September 1st are required to have the additional dose of IPV, DTaP, MMR and Varicella. Students between the ages of 4 and 5 on September 1st will also need PCV and Hib vaccines for school entry.
- This applies to children who are 4 years old before 09/01/22. Children that turn 4 after 09/01 won’t need to have the additional vaccines completed until the following school year.
- Private preschools are not impacted or required to follow the immunization laws, but many choose to for consistency of approach and protection of children and the community.
- Be alert to these early pre-schooler/Pre-K students – you may need to increase efforts to get children in for vaccines right at the 4-year mark.
Learning collaborative: The WA-CHIP Immunization Learning Collaborative serves about 10-12 clinics around the state each year in a 9-month intervention to increase 4-6 year old and adolescent immunizations. Our fourth cohort of this effort is getting ready to kick off and we look forward to seeing the progress participating clinics make. This is led by Dr. Annika Hofstetter and WCAAP executive director Sarah Rafton.
COVID-19 vaccine communications and workflows: Dr. Sherri Zorn has done a fabulous job working with a group of clinics to assist in getting COVID-19 vaccine up and running in their clinics, assisted by WCAAP staff Tatiana Sarkhosh and DeAnna Dudley. She has also put together webinars for providers and staff on “how to” start offering COVID-19 vaccine in your clinic and how to address hesitancy around COVID-19 vaccine (applicable to other vaccines as well). These are short videos (just 10 minutes) and great for all office staff, and you can find them on WCAAP’s webinars page or YouTube channel.
School-facing communications to increase uptake in the COVID-19 vaccine: Drs. Yolanda Evans, Jasmin Zavala, Maria Huang, and Harbir Juj along with WCAAP staff Jennifer Donahue and DeAnna Dudley have been contributing to this effort working with the schools, including videos created by students at Foss High School – be sure to read our May issue of Developments to learn about this project, written by the students! We will also share our collection of social media graphics, provider videos, and FAQs for schools in May. We are grateful for financial support from Cambia, Molina Healthcare, Amerigroup, and Seattle Children’s Hospital that enables us to do this work.
AAP COVID Update: Visit the AAP Town Hall web page to view archived sessions. Dr Campbell gave a really nice explanation about the recent NEJM article on vaccine efficacy in children during Omicron – see March 31 Town Hall recording at around 10:44. https://www.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/connecting-with-the-experts/
Rural Peds: Help Increase HPV Vaccination Rates: AAP is working on the production of a short motivational video (approximately 5 minutes) featuring a pediatrician practicing in a rural area who champions the HPV vaccine. We are seeking a pediatrician practicing in a rural area who is comfortable on camera and who would be willing to volunteer their time to work with our film crew and staff to record key messages to other providers about their experience promoting the HPV vaccine. The film crew would travel to their practice site and ideally also record video of a family discussing their personal experience and the importance of the HPV vaccine for their children. It is estimated the filming would occur on site one day in June and would require about 60-90 minutes of the physician’s time for filming. Please contact Gillian Gibbs at AAP by April 18th, if you are interested or with any questions.