Public Health Education and Policy

KidsIn response to the H1N1 Influenza Pandemic, Dr. Christine Turley, at the time a member of the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development (SCVD), led an initiative with the Departments of Pediatrics and Family Medicine, the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) School of Medicine and the UTMB School of Nursing to provide H1N1 vaccine to area school children at no cost. Children in Galveston, Texas City and High Island School districts were offered free vaccines within the school setting. Families received information about the immunization outreach program and returned consent forms for vaccination to the local schools. Over 100 volunteers were trained to administer vaccines and, in all, immunizations were provided to 23 schools at multiple events over an 8-week period. Overall, a total of 4,193 children and teachers were vaccinated.

The nonprofit corporation, Immunizations for the Public Health (I4PH), continued its efforts to provide scientifically sound immunization information to families, health professionals, government officials and the media. National Network for Immunization Information (NNii) is a part of Immunizations for the Public Health, a Texas nonprofit corporation whose mission is to provide credible, science-based information about vaccines to those who need it. This is achieved, in part, by hosting the NNii website, which provides information about immunizations for the general public. NNii is an affiliation of the Infectious Disease Society of America, the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Nurses Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Society for Adolescent Medicine, the American Medical Association, and UTMB's SCVD.

In addition, through its web site and publications, the NNii provides the public, health professionals, policy makers, and the media in the United States with up-to-date, scientifically valid information about vaccines and immunizations. All of the information it provides is peer reviewed. Tufts University's Child and Family Web Guide gave NNii a five-star rating, making it the highest ranked site for information about immunization. NNii's site has also been recognized by the World Health Organization's Vaccine Safety Net project for meeting the group's criteria for good information practices for vaccine safety. The NNii web site traffic was a monthly average for 2010 was 33,725 visits. The number of page views after the website was remodeled was 63,010.