Crossposted from Public Health Insider.
How would you convince a teenager to take vaccines seriously?
One approach that can potentially double vaccine coverage rates is to start with their peers. You can learn how that works in this video from a current exhibit at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center called, “Vaccines & Immunity: It Takes a Community.”
The video highlights the Public Health—Seattle & King County (PHSKC) Immunizations Program and youth-led Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine promotion campaigns in 11 King County high schools.
The students’ peer-to-peer education programs are changing social norms around HPV and the HPV vaccine.
Schools participating in the multiyear HPV vaccine promotion campaigns led by PHSKC are showing a two-fold increase in vaccine coverage rates among users of School Based Health Centers (compared to School Based Health Centers that didn’t participate in the project).
As of 2016 in Washington state, 63% of males and 54% of females were not fully protected against HPV, a virus which can cause cancer and genital warts. Grounded in youth engagement philosophies, the education campaigns are:
- driven by groups of high school-aged volunteers
- mentored by educators from PHSKC
- coordinated with School-Based Health Centers and community clinics
The overall Vaccines & Immunity exhibit, which opened in December and runs through summer 2018, explains the monumental impact that vaccines have had on human health and wellbeing. It benefits from the guidance of Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, Health Officer for PHSKC and a nationally recognized expert in immunizations.
Thanks to all of the current and former PHSKC employees who contributed to the project and exhibit, from the Immunizations Program with collaboration from the School Based Partnerships team: Dr. Jeff Duchin, Libby Page, David Baure, Lauren Greenfield, Sara Rigel, Kaetlin Miller, Celia Thomas, Pamela Lyons, and Lisa Gillette. And extra thanks to more than 50 student champions who have participated in the campaign over the past three years.