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Prevent, Protect, Immunize

March 24, 2011

Providence Mount Carmel Hospital, Providence St. Joseph’s Hospital and Northeast Tri-County Health District have partnered to boost immunization rates in northeastern Washington.

Immunization rates here are the lowest in the state. Low immunization rates lead to reduced immunity and place the community at risk for vaccine-preventable disease, such as the recent Pertussis (Whooping Cough) outbreak.

The partnership is planned to be multi-year in scope, with two goals in mind:

  • To stop the ongoing downward trend in immunization rates in the first year.
  • Increasing immunization rates in the subsequent two years by 5 percent or more.

One of the challenges anticipated is breaking down financial and transportation barriers that limit access to vaccination. A possible solution: school-based clinics, offering immunization at reduced or no cost.

Organizers say work is well underway, and they are acquiring the necessary tools, supplies and personnel. To learn more, call (509) 685-5481.