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NFID Expands Educational Efforts To Reach Racial, Ethnic Families About Dangers of Meningitis
Date:12/2/2008

27 percent of Hispanic parents, 31 percent of African American parents and 41 percent of Caucasian parents believe their children are at risk for meningococcal disease, or meningitis. In addition, 58 percent of African American parents, 49 percent of Hispanic parents, and 49 percent of Caucasian parentsdid not know there is a vaccine available to help prevent the disease. However, once made aware of the availability of the vaccine, the majority indicated they would have their adolescent immunized.

The Call to Action, entitled "Improving Meningococcal Vaccination Rates in Adolescents and Reducing Racial, Ethnic and Socioeconomic Disparities," discusses disparities in meningococcal disease awareness among certain racial and ethnic groups. The piece also identifies barriers to immunization and outlines strategies to increase meningococcal vaccination rates among all adolescents.

To assist health care providers in reaching underserved, at-risk populations,the Call to Action outlines strategies for addressing the needs of diverse groups and increasing immunization rates. These strategies include:

  • Implementation of educational programs concerning meningococcal disease, including offering materials and services for non-English speaking parents and patients
  • Ensuring equal access to vaccines for all adolescents by utilizing all medical visits and alternative sites (schools, pharmacies) as opportunities for vaccination as well as implementing in-practice standing orders
  • Removing financial barriers to immunization by informing parents of children eligible for the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program about the availability of free vaccine to protect their child from meningococcal disease

The Call to Action was developed following a meeting of NFID's S.T.O.P. Meningitis! coalition, which
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SOURCE National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
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