Item Coversheet
April 9, 2019

Immunization and outreach education (SR 19-042; M. Beatty, N. Furness)

Administration / Dr. Mark Beatty, Health Officer; Nancy Furness, Prevention Services Director 
Prior Board Review:
Executive Committee 3/27/19 


At the March 12 Board of Health meeting, the Board considered Res. 19-07 (Exhibit A), which called on the Washington state legislature to support reducing the number of vaccine exemptions allowed for students entering school. During the discussion, Mr. Nate Nehring brought forward an alternate resolution that encourages vaccinations but avoids weighing in on the debate about personal or religious rights of individuals. The Board agreed by motion and unanimous vote to continue discussion at its April 9 Board meeting.


The Executive Committee further discussed this topic at the March 27 meeting. Chair Wright stated that a resolution will likely not have much impact in Olympia. Instead, she asked the committee for ways to make a difference in the community. The committee brainstormed ideas, including engaging schools, partnering with other agencies, providing free vaccines, and removing barriers.


Dr. Beatty and Nancy Furness met with staff on April 3 for an immunization planning meeting. The following ideas came from that meeting:


  • Examine possibility of hosting vaccine clinic in coordination with a school district(s) using Medical Reserve Corps volunteers

  • Meet with superintendents to talk through ideas to raise immunization rates in their respective schools

    • Potentially offer to send letters to families who are behind on immunizations

  • Increase parent outreach through:

    • Educational presentations at home schools

    • Educational presentations in the community in locations where parents frequent (such as the library)

  • Increase messaging to vaccine-hesitant parents through:

    • Possible collaboration with SHD childcare program

    • Examine possible curriculum geared toward children who would then take the message home to educate parents

    • Enhance SHD vaccine webpage.


At the April 9 Board meeting, Chair Wright requests a Board discussion to determine what direction the Board would like to take in an effort to increase vaccination rates in the county.

Board Authority

RCW 70.05.060 – Powers and duties of local board of health

Recommended Motion

No action required. Briefing only.