Generate Immunization Initiative
Increasing Immunization Rates to Save Lives and Eliminate Preventable Illnesses
Reducing outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases in families is beneficial to our community’s health and our economy.
Vaccination is one of the best ways to protect infants, children and teens from harmful diseases. Yet, Missouri has one of the lowest toddler immunization rates of all 50 states.
During the past 50 years, immunization has saved more than a billion lives and prevented countless illnesses and disabilities in the United States. But many vaccine-preventable diseases, such as meningitis, mumps, flu and whooping cough, are still a threat. They continue to infect U.S. children, resulting in hospitalizations and deaths every year.
It is also much cheaper to prevent a disease than to treat it. The CDC estimates that vaccination will prevent 21 million hospitalizations and more than 700,000 deaths in U.S. children born during the two decades spanning 1994 – 2013. That will result in a savings of almost $300 billion in direct costs over the course of their lifetimes.
Generate Health is mobilizing the community on vaccination efforts that save lives and improve the health of families by eliminating vaccine preventable diseases.
Our work in this area includes:
Our Immunizations Committee brings together a committee of health departments, social service providers, school nurses and pharmaceutical companies to plan, align and unite the region around the critical issue of vaccination. This committee’s focus is to increase communication among vaccine providers, raise awareness of the importance of vaccines and increase access to vaccinations. Together, we’ve achieved great success in supporting family health through increased vaccination.
RESULTS SNAPSHOT: To ensure families had access to critical vaccines during the H1N1 crisis, our committee worked to open more clinics and increase the amount of immunizations available in St. Louis during a time of limited supplies nationwide.
Health care providers throughout St. Louis turn to our educational seminars to learn about the latest research on vaccines, local and national trends in vaccines and how to plan for disasters of potential disease outbreaks. We also provide outreach and education to adolescents, parents, schools and child care providers to increase the rate of vaccination in our region.
RESULTS SNAPSHOT: We worked with school districts to educate 1,100 students on the importance of vaccination through presentations and interactive games. As a result, participants intentions to speak with a doctor about their immunizations increased by almost 50%.
Each legislative session, we educate and rally the region to advocate for sound vaccine policy. Our work has resulted in important policy changes that protect the health of our region.
RESULTS SNAPSHOT: Through our advocacy work, schools that are part of the High School Athletic Association now require students to be immunized against preventable illnesses in order to participate in school sports.