The Houston Immunization Program receives funding from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide publicly-purchased vaccines to eligible children in Harris County. The grant funding, supports the operational and financial stability of the following programmatic components:
Vaccines for Children’s Program (VFC) – A federally funded program that provides publicly purchased vaccines at no cost to VFC-eligible and underinsured children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay.
Hepatitis B Perinatal Prevention Program- Provide medical assistance along with educational resources to perinatal mothers, children, and household contacts. Also, collaborate with birthing hospitals to ensure Hepatitis B birth dose standing orders, and chart reviews.
Provider Information and Vaccine Education- Educate all 300 VFC providers with Houston on proper policy and procedures including storage management and eligibility criteria. In addition to traditional clinical settings, educational outreach is conducted in various locations including health fairs, schools, and juvenile detention centers.
Quality Assurance- Conduct site visits to all actively enrolled VFC providers to determine if the clinic is following the necessary guidelines outlined in the VFC Operational Manual. Perform population coverage assessments of school and daycare facilities using CDC's approved reporting method.
Vaccine Preparedness- Collaborates with the COH Preparedness Bureau to assure adequate planning of VPD diseases and seasonal influenza.
Immunization Registry- Actively recruits providers in jurisdiction to utilize state Immunization registry system (ImmTrac2). Assist clinicians with ImmTrac2 technical assistance and trainings. Collaborate with HHD health centers and WIC Sites to input shot records.
Surveillance- Coordinates with the HHD Bureau of Epidemiology and DSHS to assure adherence to CDC's surveillance reporting system. Report all confirmed cases to the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS) within the mandated timeframe outlined by CDC.
The primary goal of the Immunization Program is to reduce, and eventually eliminate the spread of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in Harris County. To maximize this effort, the Immunization Program has created a series of goals that are utilized as a guide to reach desired outcomes:
• Provide exemplary customer service and technical assistance to enrolled VFC providers.
• Identify and eliminate disparities of low lagging coverage rates for children, adolescents, and adults who reside in underserved communities.
• Ensure proper vaccine management and adherence to policy and procedures by conducting quality assurance visits to VFC providers.
• Report all Vaccine-preventable Diseases to the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and CDC by the required 30-day timeframe.
• Provide the most up to date education on specific vaccine antigens within various health settings in Harris County.
• An efficient response during VPD outbreaks and pandemic influenza events.
• Continuously increase VFC outreach and recruitment to special populations such as: ob/gyn clinics, pharmacists, and family planning clinics.
• Increase the number of children, adolescents, adults, first responders, currently enrolled in the ImmTrac2 system.
• Accommodate Immunization Registry functionality standards by the desired target year outlined by CDC.
• All birthing hospitals have a Hepatitis B standing order in place, with the intention of vaccinating all infants born to Hepatitis B mothers.