Community-based interventions use different strategies and activities to help change community members’ awareness, attitudes, beliefs and skills. These strategies and activities may improve immunization rates or the social, economic and environmental conditions related to immunizations. The benefit is that the combination of different strategies and activities may have something for everyone. This includes individuals, families, organizations, neighborhoods or other groups with a shared identity. For example, this shared identity may be living in the same area, going to the same events or having similar beliefs. Community-based interventions can improve compliance with immunization recommendations by increasing awareness of the role of immunizations in protecting health or by monitoring activities to ensure immunization compliance.
Community-based interventions work best when used in multiple settings:
- School-based settings: communities can advocate for policies requiring immunizations before enrolling in school
- Worksite-based settings: communities can increase access to vaccination opportunities in the workplace
- Faith-based settings: leaders in the faith-based community can include immunization education as part of their mission related to the health and spirituality of members
- Health care facility-based settings: health care providers can participate in community education efforts to increase accuracy and credibility of immunization information
- Home-based settings: identify neighborhood resources related immunization education and access for families
Things to consider for community-based interventions:
- Community-based strategies and activities can reach people who do not get information in other settings, such as school, work, faith or health organizations.
- Day care centers look after many children and can provide information to parents about the health and safety of their children.
- Community-based interventions should work with the community, not on the community. Get input from community members on the strategies and activities that work best.
- Community centers for older adults can incorporate immunization education and opportunities into their event schedule to encourage healthy lifestyles.
- College campuses are good settings for immunization campaigns using newspapers, message boards, and electronic communication networks.
- Community locations such as libraries, supermarkets and pharmacies can be suitable for immunization education and opportunities because they are easily accessible.
- Door-to-door immunization campaigns may not be effective because people may not be home and refusal rates tend to be high.