Enabled by a $3 million grant partnership with the United Health Foundation, Children’s Minnesota has taken a data-driven approach to reduce flu vaccination disparities among thousands of underserved kids in the Twin Cities.
Taking action with tech
Children’s Minnesota, one of the largest freestanding pediatric health systems in the U.S., used its readily available technology to analyze last year’s hospital flu admissions data and determine the ZIP codes where unvaccinated kids lived. Neighborhoods with low vaccination rates were prioritized by the organization as potential locations for vaccine events in partnership with area schools and community organizations this fall.
By the numbers
Children’s Minnesota’s flu admission data from the 2022-2023 flu season shows that approximately 75% of Black/African American patients and approximately 71% of Hispanic/Latino patients admitted with the flu were not vaccinated prior to hospitalization for severe illness.
- Yes, and: Children’s Minnesota is working to reduce disparities related to race/ethnicity for vaccinations by 30%.
The bottom line
While the main goal is improving access to vaccines, the Children’s Minnesota health equity team is also working to build health literacy, trust and engagement in historically underserved communities. The team talks with families about any questions or concerns they have about vaccines, while also offering hands-on learning opportunities for school health staff to address vaccine hesitancy.
The big picture
This effort is part of the grant partnership’s focus on creating new programs to reduce pediatric health care disparities related to vaccinations, asthma and mental health for 2,000 underserved children and families in the Twin Cities.
Children’s Minnesota is working in partnership with existing community-based partners (e.g., YWCA, Pillsbury United Communities) and the Minneapolis and St. Paul Public Schools to co-design culturally responsive health interventions and bring them directly to children and families in neighborhoods with the greatest health disparities.