The Arizona Partnership for Immunization (TAPI) is a non-profit, statewide coalition that includes over 400 members from both the public and private sector. It was formed in the mid-1990s to address the low rate of immunization among children in Arizona, but today its mission includes immunization for all Arizonians–children, adolescents, and adults. In 1993, only 43% of children age 2 in Arizona were fully immunized against vaccine-preventable childhood diseases.1
TAPI brings together key stakeholders in Arizona, including local public health departments, state and private Medicaid offices, community health centers, professional associations, advocacy organizations, and health care providers. With input from its members, TAPI works to increase the number of fully immunized children, adolescents, and adults in the state through advocacy, provider training, and community awareness and education.
A key element of TAPI’s work is education and training for both consumers and health care providers. TAPI has developed informational materials in both English and Spanish that are distributed to schools, child care facilities, private providers, county health departments, community health centers, managed care organizations, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) sites across the state. In addition, TAPI hosts one-day trainings for health care providers that review parent education strategies, immunization schedules and vaccine administration, proper vaccine storage and inventory, and overall best practices.
TAPI also works with local health departments and other partners to address specific issues that are salient in their communities. To provide relevant services to a community, TAPI works with local organizations to complete a needs assessment and offer a tailored training to local health care providers. For example, TAPI partnered with the Mohave County Health Department, Arizona Department of Health Services, and a local clinic to determine the best approach to address the pertussis cluster in northern Arizona. Given the community’s needs, TAPI staff presented a shortened version of the Immunization Best Practices training, focusing on pertussis prevention. This opportunity fostered a working relationship between the local partners and TAPI, who continued to work together to meet the needs of the northern Arizona community after the initial training was completed.2
Leveraging their established partnerships with key stakeholders, TAPI has continued to expand their education and training efforts throughout the state. In 2013, over 100,000 educational pieces for consumers were distributed and 585 providers and staff attended training, representing a 65% increase in attendance from the prior year. In addition, immunization rates in Arizona have improved dramatically; in 2012, more than 2 out of 3 children aged 19–35 months were fully immunized.2
1The Arizona Partnership for Immunization. 2013 Year End Report: Building Strong Partnerships in the Immunization Community.
2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National, State, and Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Children Aged 19–35 Months – United States, 2012. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. September 13, 2013/62(36);733-740.