When the Ohio Department of Health has a surplus of adult hepatitis vaccines soon to expire at immunization sites around the state, the agency channels some supply to Columbus Public Health, where Denice Abbot, RN, makes sure the vaccines are used to protect vulnerable individuals.
For Abbot, that may mean working long weekends and collaborating with social services agencies to administer hundreds of vaccinations within short time frames to avoid expiration. She recently earned the American Nurses Association Immunity Award for her perseverance in ensuring high-risk clients, including people who are homeless or struggle with substance abuse, receive vaccinations as part of the Ohio state initiative.
“No short-dated vaccine that has come to CPH from other locations has ever expired since Denice came on board,” CPH Program Director Sean Hubert said.
Within seven months at CPH, Abbot nearly doubled the number of clients who are immunized. While promoting the adult hepatitis vaccination, Abbot makes sure clients are current on other immunizations, including seasonal influenza and pertussis. She also has found opportunities to increase immunizations among children, who are at the sites while their parents receive services.
Learn about the monthly Immunity Award at www.ANAimmunize.org.