Background

Vaccinations have led to the prevention of many childhood illnesses. Prior to the introduction of vaccines many of these illnesses, such as polio, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, pertussis, flu, diphtheria, and pneumonia ranked as the leading cause of death in children. Today, the vaccination coverage of children in the US is at its highest: as it is reported, in 2011, the coverage amounted to 90% of 2-year-old children nationwide (Frieden et al., 2012).

In the case of pneumonia, the vaccine that fights Streptococcus pneumoniae was introduced into the children immunization plan in 2000. It is stated that, in Tennessee, by the year 2012, the annual rate of infants hospitalized with pneumonia has fallen from 14.5 to 4.1 per 1,000 (Griffin et al., 2014). On the national scale, the rates have decreased by 47,000 children per year (Griffin et al., 2013). Thus, the percentage should stay level to ensure the diseases do not resurge since the correlation between the introduction of vaccines and the jugulation of the diseases is obvious.

Aim

Despite such successes in children’s health, some parents have opted not to have their children vaccinated against these illnesses out of fear of possible side effects of vaccines. Due to this, we have seen recent increases in occurrences and outbreaks of preventable diseases. In 2013, the death rates for influenza and pneumonia have grown by more than 10% (Gordon, 2015). The crucial part of promoting vaccination is ensuring people’s awareness. Thus, the aim of this research is to define whether parental education for PCV7 can serve as a means of preventing pneumonia in children.

Methodology

It is reasonable to assume that the project should start locally. The target group of patients is children aged 2 and less. One of the steps towards addressing the goal is to evaluate local medical records with respect to vaccination of the target group. The next step would be a discussion with the vaccine providers and developing strategies for educating parents. The strategies will result in the means of education that will provide parents with information about the benefits of the PCV7, reduce common belief of vaccines causing autism in children, and be persuasive but not aggressive.

The aim of this step is to motivate providers who will help in motivating parents, offering opportunities for fundraising and collaboration. The level of vaccine-refusers and hesitant parents is low, but drastic even on the local level, which is why it is necessary to persuade them. They should be provided with textual information, the issue can be discussed in PTA meetings, the concept of vaccination for health can be presented in a kid-friendly way to encourage children to ask questions, etc. The vaccination and hospitalization data then will be collected and assessed to define the influence of parental education on pneumonia rates.

Expected outcomes and significance

We can expect that parental education will prove an effective means of preventing pneumonia in children since, with infants, it is the parents who are responsible for decision-making. The results of the research will be significant because it will reveal the most effective ways for parental education about their children’s health (in vaccination and beyond). It is a goal that is worth pursuing because it is the nurses’ duty to promote health and apply new strategies to reduce the threats of diseases.

References

Frieden, T. R., Jaffe, H. W., Stephens, J. W., Thacker, S. B., & Zaza, S. (2012). Web.

National, state, and local area vaccination coverage among children aged 19-35 months – United States, 2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 61, 689-696. Web.

Gordon, L. K. (2015). Death Rates from Flu and Pneumonia on the Rise. . Web.

Griffin, M. R., Mitchel, E., Zhu, Y., Moore, M. R., Whitney, C. G., & Grijalva, C. G. (2014). Web.

Declines in Pneumonia Hospitalizations of Children Aged <2 Years Associated with the Use of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccines — Tennessee, 1998–2012. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 63(44), 995-998. Web.

Griffin, M. R., Zhu, Y., Moore, M. R., Whitney, C. G., & Grijalva, C. G. (2013). U.S. Hospitalizations for Pneumonia after a Decade of Pneumococcal Vaccination. The New England Journal of Medicine, 369, 155-163. Web.

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