Challenges to School-Located Vaccination: Lessons Learned
School-located vaccination (SLV) has a long history in the United States and has successfully contributed to lower morbidity and mortality due to vaccine-preventable diseases.1 Historically, SLV efforts, which tended to be single-vaccine programs intended to provide catch-up immunization to a defined school-age cohort or were implemented in response to an outbreak, were unfunded, funded by local health department, or were funded by industry or federal grants. The growing palette of vaccines recommended for routine use in adolescents along with limited success of office-based adolescent immunization create a compelling argument for the creation of financially sustainable SLV programs. An arguably significant barrier to both office-based and school-located adolescent immunization is the modest reimbursement rates afforded to immunizers. Because the immunization promotion and consent process is expensive, these costs must be reduced to a minimum to reach financial viability. Although there are challenges to creating a financially sustainable SLV program coordinated by an academic medical center, (AMC), the ability of AMCs to bill private and public insurers, the nonprofit status of medical centers, the allowances for faculty for academic pursuit, and the substantial infrastructure already present make AMCs a potentially practical site for the administration of SLV programs. Alternatively, as health departments throughout the nation continue to explore methods for billing private insurance, we may find health departments to be uniquely suited for coordinating the administration and billing of these services.
- Accepted July 9, 2014.
- Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics