DANVILLE — The Indiana State Department of Health has released county-level immunization rates for Indiana. Despite a low rate for Hendricks County, the Hendricks County Health Department is working to improve reporting of immunizations.
“We see high vaccination rates in our clinic and in the schools,” Tamera Brinkman, director of nursing at the county health department, said in a press release. “Our rate is not a reflection of the number of immunized residents; rather, it’s a reflection of reporting to the state’s immunization registry.”
Counties were rated based on the number of residents with two or more immunizations records in Indiana’s Children and Hoosiers Immunization Registry Program, or CHIRP.
While the health department has been using CHIRP to update immunizations records for years, many other immunization providers have not had the ability or requirement to use CHIRP.
However, beginning July 1, 2015, all immunization providers will be required by state law to use CHIRP. Dr. David Hadley, health officer for the county health department, says his staff will take the lead on making sure providers are acquainted with the system.
“We have the knowledge and experience to help providers understand how to use CHIRP in a consistent and timely manner,” he said. “We will work to educate providers on using CHIRP to make sure the state and residents receive the most accurate data available.”
Despite having a countywide immunization rate of 29 percent (18 percent lower than the state average of 47 percent), Brinkman assures residents that there is no shortage of vaccine or providers in the county.
“This is not a problem with vaccinations,” Brinkman said. “We are very fortunate to have a wide variety of immunization providers in the county. These providers do a fantastic job of making sure our population is immunized against communicable disease.”
Immunization providers interested in learning more about CHIRP can visit the website at www.chirp.isdh.state.in.us.
Residents needing immunizations can contact the Hendricks County Health Department Nursing Division at 745-9222 or visit them online at www.co.hendricks.in.us/health.html.