Date of Graduation

Fall 12-12-2014

Document Type

Project/Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

College/School

School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Courtney Keeler

Abstract

Immunizations are one of the most important developments in the twentieth century towards the prevention of infectious diseases. Vaccinations against communicable diseases have helped reduce morbidity and mortality all over the world. Despite having numerous vaccines that protect individuals from serious and deadly diseases, vaccination rates in the United States remain at an all-time low. The Information and Education section of the Immunization Branch within the Division of Communicable Disease Control at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) focuses on working with local health departments, primary care providers, immunization coalitions, and other statewide organizations to increase the rates of vaccinations in the United States. The Information and Education section aims to address vaccination disparities in the state of California. The main reasons parents and guardians opt out of fully vaccinating their children are due to personal belief exemptions (PBEs), concerns regarding vaccine-related side effects, and low provider recommendation. The Information and Education section is in charge of creating statewide campaigns and educational materials to help increase immunization rates. Four goals were developed for this fieldwork experience: general familiarization with the Immunization Branch; participate in the planning of Preteen Vaccine Week Campaign 2015, an immunization informing campaign; conduct impact evaluation and education material; and participate in maintenance of other immunization informing campaigns. The following paper is a summary of a 300-hour fieldwork experience at the CDPH to help increase awareness of vaccine-preventable diseases and the importance of being fully immunized through the development of informational and educational materials.