WCAAP members and clinics throughout the state are working with schools, public health agencies, and community organizations to meet families’ needs during COVID-19, to improve COVID-19 vaccination rates, and to catch kids up on missed vaccinations. Is your clinic doing something our members might be interested in learning about? Let us know!
King County Pediatrician Partners with South Asian Immigrant Communities, Youth Groups on COVID-19
Seema Abbasi, MD, FAAP
As the vaccines rolled out last year, being a pediatrician with a background in vaccine research, I was very interested in community vaccine education. I reached out to Public Health – Seattle and King County (PHSKC) and offered to help. They connected me to their pandemic mitigation group, which was in the process of setting up a community partnership program with outreach to various minorities, immigrants, and other vulnerable populations. Being a Pakistani-American with solid ties to the South Asian and middle eastern communities, I joined their BIPOC outreach early this year. My work with the group involved reaching out to various South Asian immigrant communities (Indian, Tibetan, Nepalese, Afghan, Pakistani) and connecting them to the health department. This effort led to the development of the South Asian collaborative, which meets regularly to discuss pandemic mitigation strategies, concerns and exchange ideas, and support. We have done multiple vaccine educational webinars on various social media platforms in collaboration with their community physicians. We have also set up community vaccination events in cooperation with PHSKC.
Through my work with the South Asian communities, I got connected to a youth-based organization, “Worth a Shot.” They have been doing COVID vaccine education work, creating materials, and doing webinars. They connected me with the Bellevue School District, who invited me to attend a vaccination event at Sammamish High School and Ode Middle School this summer. There I worked the vaccine line, answering parents’ questions about vaccine safety and side effects. On August 27th, “Worth a Shot” collaborated with Youthlink and the City of Bellevue for a “Back to School” webinar. I was one of the panelists, along with an infectious diseases physician and an immunologist. The event was attended by parents who had many questions regarding strategies to keep kids safe at school, vaccines’ safety for children, and the timing of vaccine availability for younger children.
Federal Way Pediatrics Northwest Clinic Partners with Schools on Vaccine Catch-up
Marketing Communications Coordinator
In a partnership between Pediatrics Northwest, Federal Way Public Schools, and Public Health – Seattle & King County, a free vaccine event was held on August 30th to get local students caught up on required and recommended immunizations in time for school re-opening. The COVID-19 vaccine was also provided to everyone eligible. Decreased vaccination rates in our state prompted the need for this event and efforts were focused on students with the least access to care.
Buses were coordinated by Federal Way Public Schools to provide transportation for families in need. Use of the Pediatrics Northwest Federal Way location was donated for the event and healthcare volunteers from Federal Way Public Schools and Pediatrics Northwest stayed late into the evening to administer vaccines.
The event had a high turnout rate with over 100 families in attendance and lines extending out the door and down the hall. While some attendees were found to be up to date on their vaccines, a total of 84 families were able to receive needed immunizations. Despite the volume of traffic, the families were all very thankful for this service and relieved to have their vaccine needs taken care of. Volunteers were excited to take part in these efforts to increase vaccination rates and save lives in our community.