The Houston County Hot Shot Coalition Wins Statewide Award
On September 11, 2009, the Houston Hot Shot Coalition will receive the Walt Orenstien Champion in Immunization Award from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Georgia Department of Community Health at the 2009 Immunize Georgia Conference. This will be the second time this group has received this statewide award.
The Walt Orienstein Award is named after the former head of Immunizations for the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. The 2009 awards honor individuals, public/private agencies or coalitions who have excelled at providing immunization care that exemplifies the immunization guidelines set forth in the Standards for Child and Adolescent Immunization Practices.
The Houston County Hot Shot Coalition is receiving this award for their dedication to the children of Houston County. During the 2008-2009 flu season, the coalition organized a school-based flu vaccination campaign using FluMist, a form of flu vaccine that is sprayed in the nose rather than injected by needle in the arm. The group was able to offer this vaccine for free after successfully obtaining a grant from the National Association of City and County Health Officers (NACCHO).
With help from the grant, the coalition was able to offer free vaccine to students, faculty, parents and siblings of all elementary school students in Houston County. The coalition was also able to offer the free vaccine to 8 of the Houston County Middle School faculty and staff. By the end of the campaign, the coalition vaccinated 3,966 people through their partnership with Houston County Schools.
During the campaign, the North Central Health District Office of Emergency Preparedness visited one of the vaccination sites to evaluate the vaccination flow model for mass vaccination planning purposes. They found that the coalition could vaccinate a class of 20 students in 4.8 minutes.
The feedback from this campaign has been tremendous –from the school system, private providers and the community as a whole. The school system plans to offer flu vaccines in schools again this Fall.
The Houston Hot Shot Coalition was formed in 2003 to increase vaccine awareness and vaccine rates in school aged children that reside in Houston Co. This coalition consists of the Houston County Health Department, the Houston County Board of Education, Robins AFB, and private providers in Warner Robins and Perry.