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  • Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136

Gov. Gregoire announces funding for immunizations

For Immediate Release: September 30, 2009

OLYMPIA – The state Department of Health has been awarded three immunization grants totaling $5.56 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Each grant aims to increase immunization rates and prevent illness in children.

The first provides money to buy vaccines for children ($2.9 million) and for community activities to boost immunization services ($1.9 million). The others will improve immunization billing in public health clinics ($356,768) and develop better ways to monitor school vaccination coverage and exemptions ($300,000).

“There is nothing more important than protecting our children,” Gov. Chris Gregoire said. “Our state’s immunization rates are improving slightly, but there is more work to do. These grants will support our efforts to ensure every child is protected from vaccine-preventable diseases, which will improve the health and safety of our families and communities.”

“Vaccinating children is one of the best things parents can do to keep their children healthy,” said Secretary of Health Mary Selecky. “We’re working hard to build on our recent progress on immunization rates, and these important projects will help us maintain that momentum.”

Funding will help local health agencies work with health care providers to improve immunization rates with the goal of making sure children are immunized on schedule. They’ll use tools such as the CHILD Profile Immunization Registry. This funding will help health care providers get information to parents about the benefits of immunizations for their children and to beef up the state immunization registry so that reminders to parents are sent electronically.

The second grant will help local health agencies make a plan with the state to bill for immunization services that are given to fully insured children.

The third grant will help schools report immunizations through the state immunization registry. This will lead to better monitoring of vaccination coverage and exemption rates in schools. Interested schools and local health agencies will be able to help plan, develop and test the activities.