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Leveraging Community Concerns Regarding Meningococcal Disease to Address Racial and Socioeconomic Disparities in Immunization Coverage

Jones, Roderick C. MPH; Ramirez, Enrique BA; Gerber, Susan I. MD; Ritger, Kathleen A. MD, MPH; Morita, Julie Y. MD

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice:
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e31820070f1
Original Article
Abstract

Following the death of 2 adolescents due to serogroup C invasive meningococcal disease (SCIMD) in April 2008, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) observed a high level of concern in 2 Chicago communities inferred to have low meningococcal vaccine (MCV) coverage rates. In response, CDPH promptly mobilized additional resources, administering 5343 doses of MCV in 40 schools over 2 weeks and immunizing 44% of enrolled students aged 11 to 18 years. The number of eligible students vaccinated per school ranged from 9 to 466 (median, 112) and the proportion of age-eligible students receiving the vaccine ranged from 5% to 87% (median, 52%). The attributes of the SCIMD activity did not meet the definition of a community-based outbreak, but presented an opportunity to promptly intensify existing mechanisms for meningococcal vaccination of adolescents in the affected neighborhoods and overcome traditional barriers to vaccination.

In Brief

The attributes of the SCIMD activity did not meet the definition of a community-based outbreak, but presented an opportunity to promptly intensify existing mechanisms for meningococcal vaccination of adolescents in the affected neighborhoods and overcome traditional barriers to vaccination.

Author Information

Cook County Department of Public Health, Oak Park (Dr Gerber); Chicago Department of Public Health, Chicago (Dr Morita), Illinois.

Correspondence: Roderick C. Jones, MPH, Chicago Department of Public Health, 333 S State St, Chicago, IL 60604 (jones_roderick@cdph.org).

All authors were affiliated with the Chicago Department of Public Health, Chicago, Illinois, at the time of investigation, intervention, and manuscript preparation. There are no relevant funding sources to disclose.

The investigation and intervention described in this report could not have been carried out without the extraordinary efforts of Maribel Chavez-Torres, Lorraine Schoenstadt and the CDPH Immunization Program; Julio Fernandez, Loretta Miller, and the CDPH Communicable Disease Program; Dr Suzet McKinney and the CDPH Emergency Preparedness Program; Dr Terry Mason and Christine Kosmos; the CDPH Public Information Office; the Chicago Public Schools Office of Coordinated School Health; microbiologists of the Illinois Department of Public Health Division of Laboratories and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Meningitis Laboratory; and emergency response teams from the Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, and Will, and township of Stickney.

Copyright © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.