Anoka County gets funding for immunizations system, projects

The Anoka County Board has approved two contracts with the Minnesota Department of Health for immunizations programs.

One would provide state funding totaling $19,848 for the county’s continued participation in the Minnesota Information Connection (MIIC) from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2013.

The other is for three initiatives related to childhood immunizations – perinatal hepatitis B, immunization practices improvement and phase two of the Assessment-Feedback-Incentives-Exchange (AFIX).

The county has received state funding since 2004 for recruitment of and support to local health care providers in MIIC, which is a secure electronic record system containing immunization history of shots given elsewhere in Minnesota, immunization inventory and lot numbers and support with disease investigations identifying vaccinated and un- or under-vaccinated children.

According to information provided to the Anoka County Board’s Human Services Committee by Laurel Hoff, county community health and environmental services director, this information system has become widely used and is intended to provide health departments, hospitals, clinics, schools, daycare providers and parents with secure, accurate up-to-date immunization data.

“The community health and environmental services department staff have been effective with increasing provider participation and the number of Anoka County citizens with records in MIIC,” Hoff wrote in her report.

The county was awarded $5,734 more than the base grant of $14,114 for completing specific performance standards, she wrote.

According to Hoff, there is a focus on age appropriate immunizations in Anoka County children 24-35 months old who are most vulnerable to vaccine preventable diseases.

“Currently, whooping cough (pertussis) is the most prevalent vaccine preventable disease for the target population,” Hoff wrote.

The agreements with the state health department for three vaccine-associated initiatives are paid for by allocations from the federal government.

One initiative is a perinatal hepatitis B follow-up to pregnant women.

According to Hoff, each county is notified when a pregnant woman is a carrier of the hepatitis B virus and disease prevention and control (DPC) staff complete case management and follow-up of the child for some 15 months after birth, assuring the vaccine series and serologic testing as recommended has been completed, and that household contacts are immunized as needed.

In the second initiative, the Immunization Practices Improvement (IPI) project requires site visits for local health care clinics using the Minnesota Vaccines for Children program, Hoff wrote in her report to the Human Services Committee.

“DPC staff assist clinics in the evaluation of their immunization practices, handling and storage of vaccine as well as the recommended immunization schedule and the immunization rates of the clinic’s patients,” she wrote.

According to Hoff, the third initiative involves a quality improvement program called AFIX to raise immunization coverage levels and improve standards of practices at the provider level.

Under the agreement with the state health department, the county will be reimbursed $500 per child for perinatal hepatitis B follow-up, $300 to $500 per clinic for the IPI project clinic visit and $1,000 per completed AFIX clinic visit.

The grant period began Oct. 1 and runs through Sept. 30, 2013.

According to Hoff, 42 families ate currently being monitored as part of the perinatal hepatitis B program and six IPI clinic visits have been completed in 2012.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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