Many Latinos and African Americans in our community, both children and adults, suffer the consequences of under-immunization.
In South LA Residents in South Los Angeles face significant health risks–debilitating illness and conceivably death. Even those with mild infections can still spread the disease to the more vulnerable. A host of diseases—flu, pneumonia, whooping cough, mumps, measles, meningitis, chicken pox, tetanus, polio, Hepatitis A and B and others–are vaccine-preventable.
Increasing Immunization Rates Responding to a serious need, South LA Health Projects in 2007 created the Immunize LA Families Coalition, which worked to increase immunization rates across the lifespan among African Americans and Latinos in South Los Angeles.
South Los Angeles Immunize LA Families worked primarily in Los Angeles Service Planning Area 6 (or SPA 6), promoting immunization in several sections of the City of Los Angeles as well as Compton, Lynwood and Paramount. This service area is home to more than one million residents; approximately 200,000 are at least 50 years old. Seniors are at an increased risk of complications when they contract the flu or pneumonia. Read more about immunization and seniors here>>
REACH U.S.—National Initiative The work of the Immunize LA Families Coalition was funded by a grant initially awarded in 2007 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under its Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Across the U.S. (REACH U.S.) Initiative. This funding came to a close in September 2012. Read more about REACH U.S. here>>
Intervention at WIC Centers–Ongoing Immunization activities at our WIC centers, funded by the California Department of Public Health WIC Division, continue. We work to increase flu immunization rates among WIC participants who are pregnant or have recently given birth and to increase up-to-date rates for children under five years of age–meaning that the children have received all medically recommended immunizations.
WIC center personnel educate participants about vaccinations and track the children’s up-to-date rates. For children, this occurs all year long; for pregnant and postpartum women, tracking and education take place during the flu season, October through March. Read more about immunization intervention at WIC here>>
Community Intervention We worked with community centers, churches, community organizations and residents. Together we strove to increase social acceptance of immunization and access to vaccinations. While our emphasis was on preventing the flu and pneumonia, we also educated about immunization against other vaccine-preventable diseases. Each year we partnered with the Los Angeles County Immunization Program and St. Francis Medical Center to promote immunization at community sites and assist the sites with their flu clinics. See a list of our community partners here>>
Social Marketing We made extensive use of two creative social marketing tools, “I Choose” posters and digital stories, as well as media relations and sponsored community events to increase public acceptance of immunization and encourage the public to be immunized at local flu clinics. Read more about our social marketing here>>
Medical Provider Intervention We partnered with three community health clinics: To Help Everyone (T.H.E.) Clinic, South Central Family Health Center, and Watts Healthcare Corporation, employing what is termed an AFIX strategy (Assessment, Feedback, Incentives, and eXchange). Through this intervention, we encouraged our partnering community health clinics to institute organizational changes. These led to significant increases in adult immunization at these sites. Read more about this intervention here>>
Coalition Members The Immunize LA Families Coalition evolved from the Immunize LA Kids Coalition, composed of representatives from public and private agencies, local clinics, faith-based organizations and the community as well as medical providers. The Immunize LA Families Coalition educated the public and facilitated and supported numerous flu immunization clinics and immunization outreach in South Los Angeles. We were the lead agency for both coalitions. Learn about our community immunization intervention here>>
Coalition Continues The coalition members remain dedicated to their original purpose. Despite the end of CDC funding for the Immunize LA Families program, the coalition members are continuing to promote immunization throughout the community as their own independent organization. Read about the coalition here>>