School Nurses’ Education
The Immunization Partnership has engaged with multiple school district in Texas through our School Nurses Forums and Education Service Center presentations.
In 2019 TIP hosted two school nurses’ forums in two Texas cities with high non-medical student exemptions and immunization access issues. These forums reviewed immunization administration guidelines, outlined talking points regarding the safety and efficacy of vaccines, and provided other important immunization information to nurses who work directly with students and parents.
In 2020, TIP launched an online immunization training for school nurses in Texas. This training covered the immunizations required to attend schools in Texas, the most recent ACIP updates, how to engage in meaningful conversation with vaccine hesitant parents/caregivers, and the role healthcare professionals can play in the formation of immunization policy. The online training has ended, but nurses can receive Continuing Education Credits through our other courses on our IZU page.
In addition to our online continuing education credits, we are available to come to your school or school district to present on various immunization topics. If you are interested in a presentation, please email Katy Gore at KGore@immunizeUSA.org.
School Data Project
In accordance with Texas Administrative Code §97.62, Texas law allows for an exemption from immunizations for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief. This means many of our Texas children and adults are being exposed to unvaccinated individuals at greater rates each year. The Department of State Health Services monitors and tracks the number of non-medical exemptions. The 2018-2019 annual report found that 64,176 kindergarten through 12th grade were reported as having a non-medical exemption on file.
TIP is piloting a project in 2020 to determine causes for high exemption and delinquency rates in the selected districts. Data gatheredf from the project may be used to develop educational resources to increase immunizations rates and lower the number of non-medical exemptions through in-person trainings.
College and University Engagement
In 2019, TIP presented to 180 nursing students at Prairie View A&M University School of Nursing detailing immunization administration guidelines and outlining talking points regarding the safety and efficacy of vaccines.
TIP was also invited to speak with 108 nursing students at the University of Texas School of Nursing in San Antonio regarding vaccine myths and the science to combat them.
As the Texas 86th Legislative Session approached, TIP presented to 100 students in the Memorial Hermann Hospital Texas Pediatrics Residency Advocacy Training program and 45 students in the University of Texas McGovern School of Medicine program to update them on immunization in Texas and inform them of opportunities to get involved in the pro-immunization conversation.
If you are interested in having TIP come speak with your students on immunization topics email Katy Gore at KGore@immunizeUSA.org.