NACHC and the School-Based Health Alliance have collaborated on a new resource to help Community Health Centers in their efforts to vaccinate adolescents, particularly kids who lack regular access to health care. Advancing Health Center and School Partnerships to Improve COVID-19 Vaccination Administration for Adolescents contains promising strategies, practices, and sample resources from health centers, school-based health centers (SBHCs), and schools to improve adolescent access to COVID-19 vaccinations.
Serving more than 30 million Americans, health centers play a critical role in vaccinating the nation’s vulnerable and underserved youth. Health centers offer a broad array of primary, behavioral health, and preventive care services. They serve the most vulnerable patients and reduce barriers such as cost and lack of insurance. Too many children experience persistent disparities in health care access, quality, and outcomes. By partnering with schools to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to adolescents, health centers can improve access to care, particularly for adolescents from families most in need.
The new guide offers practical information for health centers that are partnering already with schools and for those centers looking to launch partnerships. In addition to messaging tips for use with kids and parents, operations advice, it also includes actions health centers can take during the summer to prepare for the coming school year:
Partnerships between health centers and schools create transformative results. Bringing health care where students spend most of their time supports student success by removing barriers including:
Health centers can also partner with schools to build trust, communicate, and recruit for adolescent vaccine administration efforts at other locations: main health center sites, departments of health, health fairs, summer camps, faith-based organizations, and pharmacies.
This guide and other tailored technical assistance tools to support health centers can be found at the Health Center Resource Clearinghouse, www.healthcenterinfo.org