NH DHHS - NH Immunization Program Hosts National Vaccine Advocate

Concord – The NH Department of Health and Human Services Immunization

Program (NHIP) held its 2012 Statewide conference this week in Manchester

with almost 400 professionals in attendance. Dr. Paul Offit, a

nationally-known pediatrician and infectious disease specialist from the

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, headlined the event with a keynote

speech. Dr. Offit is known for his outspoken support of vaccines, with a

recent focus on discussing continued research that proves there is no link

between vaccines and autism in children.

Dr. Offit applauded NH’s efforts and success in vaccinating children. “NH

has traditionally held one of the highest, if not the highest, childhood

immunization rates in the country,” said Offit. “This is a testament to

the NH Immunization Program, doctors, nurse practitioners, and nurses who

are able to successfully present the science of vaccines and their


For several years NH’s childhood immunization rates have been ranked among

the top in the nation. Public Health Director Dr. Jose Montero presented

five NH medical practices the Excellence in Immunization awards in two

categories: (1) Vaccines for Children – Childhood Immunization Initiatives,

and (2) Vaccines for Children – Adolescent Immunization Initiatives.

Marcella Bobinsky, NH Immunization Section Chief said, “New Hampshire

vaccine providers and community programs are committed to reaching

excellent standards of care and seeing that New Hampshire children are

immunized on time. This group of individuals and organizations reached the

highest standards.”

Excellence in Childhood Immunization Initiative awards were given to:

Clinic Sans Frontieres (North Stratford), Dartmouth-Hitchcock Concord

Pediatrics, and Lilac City Pediatrics (Rochester). In 2011, these

practices maintained a childhood immunization rate of at least 90% as well

as excelled in 100% of accountability standards identified by the federal

VFC program.

NHIP identified the following medical practices for Excellence in

Adolescent Immunization Initiatives: In 2011, these practices maintained

an adolescent immunization rate of at least 90%, including 77% vaccination

rate for the first dose of the new HPV vaccine. Both maintained 100% of

the accountability standards for storing vaccine.

In addition, the Granite State Immunization Partnership, funded by Anthem

Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire presented awards to six

organizations in appreciation for their work to provide flu shots to

underserved people during the 2011 flu season. Awardees include: Concord

Regional Visiting Nurse Association; Coos County Family Health

Services/Berlin Health Department; Families First of the Greater Seacoast,

Harbor Homes, Inc., Health Care for the Homeless Program of Manchester,

affiliated with Catholic Medical Center; Indian Stream Health Services and

Northwood Home Health & Hospice.

Bobinsky commended the award winners for working to “protect NH residents

from preventable illnesses through their tireless efforts to vaccinate