Program Overview and Initiatives
The Immunization Program seeks to reduce the incidence of vaccine preventable disease by increasing access to immunizations, increasing demand for immunizations, and reducing missed opportunities to vaccinate. To increase access to immunizations, the Immunization Program with assistance from staff across the department offers free vaccinations to children and adolescents ages 18 years or younger at our three health centers. Clinics are held for three hours Monday through Wednesday and Friday. The department also provides offsite clinics in school and childcare facilities. To increase demand for immunizations, the Immunization Program sends reminder notices out to parents to let them know when their child is due or overdue for vaccines. The program also works with schools and childcare facilities to enforce immunization requirements. In order to reduce missed opportunities to immunize, the program provides education to medical providers to assure that they capitalize on each and every opportunity to vaccinate.
The Immunization Program is part of the Division of Disease Control and Environmental Health. We are located on the 1st floor of the Zeidler Municipal Building at 841 N Broadway.
Outlined below are the current activities the department has undertaken to increase immunization rates in the City of Milwaukee.
Community Education, Outreach, and Collaboration
CHIMC – Community Health Improvement in Milwaukee’s Children
Community based participatory research project led by the Medical College of Wisconsin. The project goal is to increase immunization rates in children 14 and under in select zip codes (05, 06, 08, 10) by increasing parental knowledge through education in marketing.
Immunize Milwaukee! Coalition
Immunize Milwaukee! is an independent, non-for-profit, community coalition focused on innovative education, communication, and collaboration to improve and sustain vaccination rates in Metro-Milwaukee.
Program staff participate in more than 30 health education/health fair events every year. In addition, MHD provides education materials for health events. To request materials or an MHD participant at your health fair, please contact MHD’s central intake for health fair requests at 414-286-3521.
Child Health Week
Held in August in conjunction with back to school activities, Child Health Week is a collaboration with Children’s Community Health Plan, UnitedHealthcare, Community Connect and Abri Health Plan. The focus of the week is to promote childhood wellness and preventative health including immunizations and lead testing. The week involves 2 major health fairs and several small mini health fairs to increase access to preventative health services along with a marketing campaign to raise awareness. For information about Child Health Week, please contact 414-286-3521.
Immunization Task Force
A collaboration with MPS, the Milwaukee County District Attorney, Boys and Girls Club, and the Division of Public Health. The original focus of the task force was to increase compliance with school required vaccinations within MPS. Activities of the taskforce have included reconciliation of school and WIR records, education and outreach to parents, and collobaration with schools (see below) to increase compliance rates. The taskforce has been successful in increasing the compliance rate within MPS from 64% to 81% in four years.
Public health nurses collaborate with schools and childcare facilities to implement interventions tailored to the facilities particular needs. Interventions may include record reconciliation, outreach/education to parents, and on site immunization clinics. School and child care providers interested in working with the MHD to increase immunization rates with their facility should contact the program at 414-286-8034.
Healthcare Provider Education/Outreach
The MHD upon request is available to come to healthcare provider offices to provide education sessions on immunizations and vaccine preventable diseases. In addition, we sponsor an annual immunization symposium. MHD is also available upon request to conduct chart audits to assist providers in establishing a baseline immunization rate for their practice. Furthermore, public health nursing staff will assist providers with identifying and addressing gaps in their immunization practice. Healthcare providers interested in obtaining technical assistance from the Immunization Program should call 286-8034.
The MHD offers walk in immunization clinics daily at our health centers. To get times, locations, and listings of any special Saturday clinics please see our clinic services page of this website. MHD also partners with schools and child care providers to do onsite immunization clinics.
Postcards are sent to parents of children who will be turning 2 years old who are due or overdue for shots based on information in the Wisconsin Immunization Registry. In addition, children 5 and under who use the health department’s walk in immunization clinics will sent immunization reminder notices.
The Department uses a combination of print, outdoor, and radio advertising to promote childhood immunizations.