Two Startling Vax Stats You’ll Want to Use
By Bill Davenhall
- More Americans got a flu shot for this flu season than voted in the last Presidential election. 15 million more!(CDC estimates that about 154 million will end up getting a flu shot during the current flu season, while the US Census Bureau estimated that 139 million people voted in the 2016 election for American President.)BRAVO to everyone who works in America’s immunization programs and all who “voted” for better health.So, now what? How do we move the immunization rate higher from here? A lot of it depends on the “flu vax gap” — identifying those geographical areas and demographic groups that have the most people who did not get shots. One example:I project that…
- 50% of those who will NOT get a flu shot in 2022 will live in fewer than 5% of the nation’s counties.
These tend to be places with the most people, but also with the most diverse demographic groups who are least likely to get vaccinated. That means about 136 counties will become “ground zero” for dramatically increasing the absolute number of people that will benefit from the flu vaccine.
Bill’s bio can be found at the end of this article. You may also visit the following link to learn more about Bill and his research.
Research Brief: Closing the Flu Vaccination Gap – By William F. Davenhall
Immunization Ambassador Alice Pignatti
The Small World of Vaccine Advocacy
By Dale Dauten, Syndicated Columnist
Like many vaccinate advocates, Alice Pignatti of Cesena, Italy, has a deep and very personal understanding of why immunizations matter: Anja.
That’s her daughter, who, at just one month old… one month… came down with whooping cough. Anja spent five days in the hospital and eight months coughing. Alice says of that time, “I slept with her on the couch for eight months to keep her vertical and to help her breathe during coughing fits.” We’re pleased to report that Anja is soon to turn three, and is doing just fine.
Alice didn’t just help Anja get healthy, she decided she would also help future mothers and babies. She’s an Art Director in Italy and she was one of four moms who created the movement called “loVaccino,” (“I vaccinate”) in 2015.
That group supports a larger movement, TeamVaxItalia. In July, 2017, they were able to get a new law passed in Italy that increased the number of mandatory vaccinations from four to ten, and yes, one of the six new ones was the pertussis vaccine. BRAVA! to Alice and the other moms.
A couple of interesting details about the new Italian law.
- One, all the required vaccines are free.
- Two, the only exemption is if the vaccine would endanger the health of the recipient, as verified by a doctor. If a parent fails on any required vax, they receive a letter from the local health authority inviting them in for an interview/educational conversation. An unvaccinated child under six cannot attend school; however, ones who are 6-16 can attend but the parents can be assessed a fine (up to 500 euros per year).
Now that the loVaccino and TeamVaxItalia have succeeding in the new law, they continue they effort to support it against new challenges. Alice tells us that the anti-vaxxers have become “very aggressive” and resorted to “terror campaigns.” In response, the advocates work to counter what Alice referred to as “fake news,” and they have an online service of web counseling to educate concerned parents.
In addition to her work in Italy, Alice supports the idea of an international pro-vax movement, and that’s why she joined the Immunization Ambassadors, the advocacy group started by STC.
The idea for the Immunization Ambassadors arose out of a conversation between STC’s CEO, Mike Popovich, and Erica Edmiston, who works for the State of Wyoming and is such a devoted runner that she joined a shoe company’s ambassadorship program. Mike took the ambassador idea to STCers Michelle Bonjour and Lara Popovich, and from that grew STC’s advocacy group.
Although undertaken less than two years ago, the Immunization Ambassadors now number nearly 7,000, mostly in the US, but also in five other countries, including, of course, Italy.
Click here if you want to learn more about Immunization Ambassadors or at the end of every issue of The Immunization Intelligence News.
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Introducing: Bill Davenhall
HIS PHILOSOPHY ABOUT POPULATION HEALTH: Bill has long advocated that to really understand how life contributes to our overall wellness we will have to understand a lot more about where people live, work, and play – and health data is only a small part of the equation. Bill reminds his audiences that “everything is related to everything else” and that “geography becomes the most common denominator” in any population-based analytics.
HIS BACKGROUND: Bill has a master’s degree from the University of Kentucky where he was trained in the medical behavioral sciences. He recently retired from ESRI where he served as the global health and human services solution manager. Bill, a native of Pennsylvania, is currently living with his wife in the Phoenix area and works with STC to improve our understanding of population health.
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