The Immunization Partnership has 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.
Beginning in 2020, the Immunization Partnership is excited to launch an online immunization training for school nurses in Texas. This training will cover 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.
We partnered with Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth to provide 1.75 hours of continuing education credits for nurses. In order to receive credit hours you must complete the training, evaluation, and post-test.
Discuss the current immunization schedule and vaccine requirements in Texas schools
Explain new and existing changes regarding immunization-related policies and how they might impact Texas schools
Discuss strategies for engaging vaccine hesitant parents in meaningful conversation
Discuss the role school nurses and other healthcare personnel serve in the formation of immunization laws and policies
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. The project will develop educational resources 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