National Nurse and Immunization Associations Detail Opportunities for Increasing Adolescent COVID-19 and Flu Vaccination in New Reports
Newly released AIM and NASN reports offer actionable measures for strengthening and sustaining school-located COVID-19 and flu vaccination clinics at a critical time for U.S. vaccination efforts.
Rockville, Md., September 22, 2021—The Association of Immunization Managers (AIM) and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) have released a pair of reports detailing the role school-located vaccination clinics (SLVs) have played during the COVID-19 pandemic and opportunities for strengthening their use as adolescent COVID-19 and flu vaccination ramp up.
Decades of research have shown SLVs’ potential to increase vaccination coverage, but these reports are the first to provide insight into the SLV landscape during the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pair of reports outline findings of a Mathematica-conducted roundtable and environmental scan. These reports kick off a series of resources for schools and immunization partners that will help simplify SLV operations during a pandemic.
Key takeaways from the report demonstrate that SLVs can support a safe return to school and critical opportunities for flu and catch-up vaccination as children return to in-person learning. Additionally, the report asserts SLV as an important strategy for promoting vaccine access and assuring equity.
AIM Executive Director Claire Hannan says, “Nurses and immunization programs have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to improve vaccination rates for adults, and now that COVID-19 shots are becoming available to adolescents we are certain SLVs will be an absolutely critical tool. These report insights will help us make these clinics a success and ensure our nation’s students and their families are protected.”
“Immunizations are essential to primary prevention of disease,” said Donna Mazyck, MS, RN, NCSN, CAE, FNASN, executive director of NASN. “Throughout the past 16 months, school nurses have played a vital role in helping school districts navigate through the pandemic and prevent the spread of COVID-19 through testing, tracking, and vaccinating students and school personnel. We are excited about the opportunity these resources provide to improve the health and well-being of our students and staff.”
In discussing the power of school-located vaccine clinics, Megan Fioravanti, BSN, RN, NCSN, school nurse for North Star Elementary in Hockessin, Del., said, “Schools are the ideal place to hold vaccination clinics for our students and the community as well. We are a trusted place where children feel safe and that families value. School nurses are the link between education and health, and we are critical in the work to educate families about the value of vaccination.”