Even Princesses Need Their Immunizations

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Even Princesses Need Their Immunizations

28-Aug-2017

There's nothing like getting poked by a needle to bring a community together and make children safer.

Even Princesses Need Their Immunizations
Even Princesses Need Their Immunizations

Increasing rates of childhood immunizations has been a strong focus for Public Health this year. Primary Health Care Networks have been working closely with community partners to access and educate areas that have low rates of immunization.

On Aug. 1 and 8, Public Health teams from the East Network and South Network combined forces to provide on-site immunizations and education to Gladmer Park (South Network) and Greer Court (East Network) respectively. The goal was to not only offer on-site immunizations but more importantly to connect with the community. On Aug. 1, the team provided 36 vaccinations and on Aug. 8, they provided seven vaccinations. These numbers are very positive but they do not tell the whole story.

The really important pieces are the connections that were made, the stories that were shared and gratitude of the community. A few examples of these stories are:

  1. They started a 12-year-old home schooled child who had not received school-aged immunizations on the appropriate series.
  2. They connected with a family who immigrated to Regina in June and linked them to autism support for their son, transcribed their immunization records, immunized both children in the family and linked the family to the network services.
  3. They started an unvaccinated 18-month-old and three-year-old on the appropriate immunization series after providing education and information to their parents on the benefits of immunizations. The children had not been immunized as the parents had been misinformed about the safety of vaccinations.
  4. Volunteer paramedics from Seniors House Calls identified a recent refugee with significant medical issues and connected him with the appropriate medical services in Regina in cooperation with the Regina Open Door Society.

The benefits of this work not only extended to the clients. One nurse had a heartwarming reunion with a family she met 18 months previously, shortly after they arrived as refugees to Canada.

"To see this family again and witness the growth that they had made as new Canadians,
warmed my heart and reaffirmed why I became a nurse."

Chantel LaHaye, RN

Finally, through this process, we discovered that our community wants to work with us. Both Boardwalk Rental Communities and Regina Housing Authority offered spaces to set up our clinic and Mike's Independent Grocery donated snacks and drinks for the kids. Regina Housing also offered to deliver flyers to their residents in advance if we want to offer these clinics again. Now that's what real Primary Health Care is all about.

As the networks work with other community groups, we will continue to share more innovative approaches to improving immunizations and health care in our communities.

Submitted by: Chantel LaHaye, Manager, PHC South Network