, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 758-763

Resources and Interest Among Faith Based Organizations for Influenza Vaccination Programs

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Abstract

In the United States, annual influenza vaccination rates are suboptimal and are well below the national health objectives. Project VIVA mobilized community members and organizations to implement an influenza vaccination program in Harlem by administering vaccines in “non-traditional” venues, such as community-based organizations, pharmacies, and faith-based organizations (FBOs). FBOs have been recognized as important venues for health promotion initiatives within medically underserved communities. However, data regarding the extent of resources and interest in health promotion programs among FBOs are sparse. We conducted a telephone survey among 115 FBOs in three New York City neighborhoods with histories of low influenza immunization rates to identify the congregation’s health concerns, interest in serving as a community-based venue for influenza vaccinations, and existing resources for health programming. Twenty-six percent of the FBOs had an established health ministry, while 45 % expressed interest in developing one. Seven percent included nurses among their health activities and 16.5 % had contact with the local health department. Most FBOs expressed interest in common health promotions programs; 60 % expressed interest in providing on-site influenza vaccination programs within their organization. Health programs within FBOs can be a point of access that may improve the health of their congregants as well as the larger community.