DENVER -- Public health agencies across Colorado will be taking new, unique approaches to organizing immunization clinics in an attempt to reach children who aren't being fully immunized.
The agencies are among 22 that have been awarded $344,170 in grants by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The grant awards are based on proposals submitted by the public health entities for scheduling immunization clinics at locations and at hours different than those of traditional clinics. As part of the grant proposals, the agencies also were required to establish new community partnerships to widen the scope of the immunization efforts.
The grants are being awarded from state immunization funds awarded to the department for the current fiscal year by the Colorado Legislature and approved by Gov. Bill Owens.
Douglas H. Benevento, the department's executive director, said, "The department, in partnership with public health agencies and other interested organizations, is involved in an all out effort to make certain that many more Colorado children are fully immunized. Through this grant process, the department encouraged local health departments and county public health nursing services to schedule immunization clinics at times and places that are more convenient for parents and children and to make these community efforts."
Benevento continued, "It is vitally important that the health of the state's children be protected by making certain as many as possible have received all of the immunizations necessary to protect them from the childhood diseases that cause them to be seriously ill and that, in rare instances, can even result in death.
"It is not acceptable that Colorado is ranked 50th among states for the number of children who are fully immunized by the time they reach the age of 2. We are doing everything we can to change that."
Source: Colorado Department of Health