Convincing the community that immunization is critically important at any age can be challenging.
A History of Immunization Promotion In 1993 at our WIC centers we began to address the need for immunization coverage among young children. These efforts continue to this day.
In 1999, with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under the REACH 2010 Initiative, we formed Immunize LA Kids (1999-2007). This program allowed us to broaden and strengthen our childhood immunization efforts, taking them beyond the walls of our WIC centers.
When the CDC’s funding priorities shifted in 2007, the Immunize LA Kids Coalition transitioned into the Immunize LA Families Coalition—with many of the same committed members participating. Read more here>>
Immunize LA Families (2007-2012) We launched Immunize LA Families (IZLAF) to address immunization disparities in South Los Angeles. One means of doing this was by reaching out to inform the public and to set individuals’ minds at ease about vaccinating themselves and their families.
Community Intervention The community intervention, aimed primarily at adults, was one of three complex interventions IZLAF employed. Read more about all our interventions here>>
Coalition Immunize LA Families operated as a coalition, linking public and private agencies, the medical community, faith-based organizations and community members for the purpose of educating the public and facilitating and supporting immunization activities in South Los Angeles.
A major goal was to increase the number of area residents who seek immunization, particularly at their doctor’s office, health clinic or flu immunization clinic. We partnered with certain community centers and churches that not only hosted flu clinics but also took part in our “I Choose” social marketing efforts. See a list of our partners here>>
Flu Immunization Clinics Partnering community centers and churches hosted flu immunization clinics for the community during each annual flu season. With vaccine and nurses provided by the L.A. County Department of Public Health and nurses provided by St. Francis Medical Center, these organizations served as hubs for free flu immunizations and at times additional vaccinations.
In preparation for the flu clinics, Immunize LA Families educated the public, assisted the community organizations to plan their flu clinics and vigorously promoted them. Read more about Immunize LA Families here>>
Outreach, Education and Collaboration Our Coalition members shared information with the public about vaccine-preventable illnesses, the benefits of immunization, and the serious health consequences that could occur when someone decides against immunization. Seasonal flu and pneumonia immunization information was shared at farmers markets, festivals, community meetings, and other events via flyers, posters and announcements.
Community Forums The community centers with which we partnered sponsored public forums where Immunize LA Families Coalition members and staff spoke about the importance of immunization. Forums incorporated discussion of other health-related topics, and offered on-site health screenings, presenting the audience a comprehensive overview of preventive health measures.
Media Outreach Immunize LA Families encouraged the media to report about the importance of immunization. Local radio stations ran announcements and interviews, and local television stations incorporated the flu immunization story in their news coverage.
Community newspapers ran announcements about flu clinics. These newspapers also showcased Coalition members, community members and staff in feature articles about the dramatic personal events that convinced them to become immunized. A local cable channel ran videos we produced highlighting seniors who said immunizations were vital to their continued health.
Social Marketing Immunize LA Families also employed social marketing to encourage immunization—the “I Choose” campaign and digital stories. Both were designed to alter social norms and increase acceptance of immunization.
“I Choose” posters remaining on the walls continue to influence those who walk by. They showcase elected officials, Coalition members, community members, WIC participants and staff—all of whom have chosen to immunize. Each colorful poster incorporates a large photo of the individual or group and a personal testimonial about immunization. Read more about I Choose here>>
Our digital stories–brief videos we shot and produced–showcase community members speaking about their lives and their decisions to become immunized. Digital stories will be posted here in the future>>
End of CDC Funding Immunize LA Families was funded from 2007 through September 2012, when the CDC’s funding priorities changed. However, some immunization promotion in South LA continues.
Coalition Continues The Immunize LA Families Coalition members remain dedicated to their original purpose and have formed an independent organization. Currently they are planning new immunization promotion efforts, but it is not known how or whether these will mirror the three interventions employed by Immunize LA Families, including our community intervention. Learn about the coalition’s current efforts here>>