Home   Syllabus   Grading   Project Generator   Video Wall   Sayings/Dichos   Class Projects

Class Projects

Ellen Smith, Immunizations and Vaccination, 3/21/2012

1. Starting Project

Parents are resisting the need to get children immunized and vaccinated. In order to understand why this is, I have been doing research and interviews with parents, physicians, nurses, and healthcare officials. If we can close the gap of communication between the public and healthcare officials, then we may be able to reiterate the importance of getting children immunized and vaccinated.

2. Statement of the Problem

Parents are showing resistance to immunizing and vaccinating their children do to inconvenience, and lack of knowledge.

Goal One: Inform parents of the benefits of immunizations and vaccinations.

Goal Two: Create an easier means of receiving information in order to close the gap of communication between parents and public health officials.

Goal Three: Easy, simple, and stress free web navigation for the busy parent.

3. Separate

Breaking the problem down and separating the cause of parents resisting getting their children immunized or vaccinated. This information was gathered by talking to parents, physicians, members of New Mexico Department of Health, Center for Disease Control and other non profit organizations. Although I keep coming across new reasons for resistance, the following are the most common reasons I have come across:

  1. Fears -stem from the misconceived notion that getting their child immunized could cause neurological disorders and epilepsy. This theory came about with an increase in the number of children with autism. Although no scientific evidence has linked vaccinations and autism, parents are still weary of this information.
  2. Money -often vaccinations are offered for free or covered by insurance. Unfortunately not all parents have health insurance to cover the costs. This causes a problem when parents have to come up with enough to cover the cost. Another problem associated with money is if the family home or town is not near a location that provides the vaccinations needed. Parents would have to pay for gas or transportation to get to the nearest location.
  3. Convenience -some parents complained that they are busy with work, caring for multiple children, running errands, or keeping up with daily duties. This caused the parents to either forget about the dates of immunizations and vaccination or caused problems in scheduling visits within their busy schedules. Parents that have their families in rural regions have to travel to healthcare locations and try to find out where the nearest location might be. In cases where parents have multiple children, they either need to find child care providers or travel with all their children.
  4. Knowledge/Information -there is a misconception that with so many people already receiving immunizations and vaccinations, there is no need to also receive shots. The problem with this? There is only one disease that is eradicated so far. If the number of people not getting vaccinated increases, then there is an increase in the possibility of an outbreak. Prevention is the best form of defense against vaccine-preventable diseases.
  5. Religious Beliefs -there are religions and cultures that do not believe in vaccinations.

4. Eliminate

For the purpose of this project and the limited amount of time, I am eliminating Religious Beliefs. Although I do feel as if this is a very important reason for resistance, I do not think that a few months of research is enough to even scrap the surface of this matter.

5. Work Backwards

Assuming that I already have a solution to the problem, what companies would I work with in order to advertise, market, and help my project to grow?

Corporations -New Mexico Healthcare Department, Center for Disease Control, National Institute of Health and non-profit organizations would all benefit from the goal of my project and assist in expanding to larger populations or possibly even regions. The focus put on marketing and communication will bring the importance of immunizations and vaccinations back to the top of the list of parents' healthcare concerns.

Big Businesses -One quote that has caught my attention is "Make your enemy your friend". By following this quote I thought of using the national location and large company funding of fast food corporations to advertise and promote immunizations and vaccinations. Ronald McDonald's House of Charities is an example of internationally known services linked to healthcare needs. If we could partner up with McDonald's, Burger King, Sonic or other fast food companies, then we could place public service announcements in every kid's meal or placed order.

Small Businesses -Doctor's offices could use and refer to my project to assist them in talking to their parents about the importance of immunizing and vaccinating their children. By referring their patients to my "parent-friendly" navigational website, physicians and nurses and rest assure that parents can find the answers to their questions and provide the parents with a better understanding of the benefits of immunizations and vaccinations. On the website physicians will also find a convenient link to immunization schedules, public service announcements and testimonials to distribute to their patients.

Grants/Rewards -Writing proposals for grants and rewards will allow me to expand my research and create my own small business dedicated to continuing my project.

6. Four Step Process

1. Understanding the Problem -by understanding all the possible problems and taking each one into consideration, I will be able to come up with possible solutions to the question asked.

2. Device A Plan -I do not see public service announcements enforcing the importance of getting children immunized and vaccinated. The public needs to see advertisements regarding my projects as much as they hear about drinking and driving, and see the affects of smoking. More funding and attention needs to be put towards the vaccine-preventable diseases. I also came up with an app for parents to keep track of their child's immunizations and vaccinations. Through this app a parent is able to customize their own doctor schedules and schedules alerts for future visits. I am in the process of creating a "parent friendly" website for easy informative navigation. It will be a one-step resource for parents who want to be able to find answer