• Vaccine implementation: Alaska 2017

      Hulstine, Amanda (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2017-05-01)
      Bacterial meningitis is a serious disease that causes permanent dysfunction or death; adolescents and young adults carry the greatest risk. The national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has released vaccine recommendations that include incorporation of meningitis vaccine in to the mandatory school vaccine schedule. Throughout the nation, much of legislative policy has made meningitis vaccination a requirement for public school attendance. Alaska does not have such policy; the purpose of the project was to address this policy need. A secondary project goal was to increase community awareness of bacterial meningitis. Project actions were divided into policy advocacy and community awareness. Policy advocacy included the development of a Policy Brief to Persuade designed for the Alaska legislative health care committee members. A legislative survey to assess willingness to incorporate a required meningitis vaccine schedule into existing Alaska vaccine policy was sent electronically with the policy brief. Community awareness interventions included the development of a Meningitis Education Bundle for healthcare professionals and a Protect Alaska’s Future campaign. The education bundle was distributed to local health establishments on Prince of Wales Island and the campaign information was distributed at the 2017 Prince of Wales Community Health Fair. Project outcomes demonstrated a lack of response to the policy survey. Efforts must continue over time with a deliberate plan to gain legislative support for the incorporation of a meningitis vaccination schedule into existing Alaska vaccine policy, as recommended by the ACIP. Community awareness activities at the health fair were successful and should continue.