Sanofi Paster Vaxigrants Winners Announced

By Petrina Smith
Tuesday, 24 June, 2014

Sanofi Pasteur has awarded $100,000 in Vaxigrants sponsorships to five healthcare organisations to help increase local community immunisation rates and awareness about the benefits of vaccination.
The five $20,000 educational sponsorships were awarded to entrants with the most original and sustainable ideas. This is the third year Sanofi Pasteur has awarded sponsorships. This year’s winners are:
1. Multicare Family Medical Centre, NSW
Category: Utilising technology to increase immunisation awareness, coverage and adverse events surveillance
In order to minimise avoidable vaccinating of children and reducing associated costs to families and government, the Multicare Family Medical Centre will create childhood immunisation conversion charts which can be customised to suit the demographics of the population surrounding the individual practice. This will ensure that children are obtaining all required immunisations and will better assist GPs and clinical staff by simplifying the conversion of international childhood immunisations.
2. Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service, NSW
Category: Increasing vaccination coverage for Indigenous Australians
Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service will provide a mobile vaccination van to allow for better engagement with the community and access to vaccines. With this mobile clinic, they will increase under-vaccination rates among 5 year olds by better engagement with families, increase vaccination rates among the indigenous population, free-up scheduled appointments with GPs and raise awareness of the importance of vaccinations among local communities.
3. South West WA Medicare Local, WA
Category: Improving collaboration within a Medicare Local to promote the NIP across multiple immunisation providers and the wider community
In order to promote the National Immunisation Program and improve immunisation rates in the local community, the South West WA Medicare Local (SWWAML) area will offer health information to promote the benefits of immunisation at ‘Ask the Expert’ events aimed at parents of children 0 –  5 years. The events will engage healthcare providers from a range of agencies and disciplines and will therefore also be avenues for interagency and inter-professional collaboration.
4. Brisbane Youth Service Inc, QLD
Category: Applying innovation in areas of low immunisation
Brisbane Youth Service will provide preventative treatment against human papilloma virus (HPV) and hepatitis B diseases to an estimated 400 homeless or at risk young people who are not eligible under the Federal Government School Immunisation Program for HPV or Queensland Immunisation Program for hepatitis B. Preventative treatment services will focus on Pap smear, HPV vaccination and hepatitis B vaccination and will aim to reduce incidences of cervical cancer, warts & hepatitis infection and reduce wait lists at public hospitals.
5. Curtin University Health Service, WA
Category: Increasing disease prevention for Australians travelling overseas
Curtin University Health Service will implement a variety of strategies to encourage students from Bentley Campus at Curtin University to seek health advice before travelling overseas. At present, the Bentley Campus engages 30,000 students, however the number accessing the health service for travel advice before travelling overseas is very low. The project proposes to increase the number of students who receive travel advice and travel immunisation in 2015 by 300% compared to 2014 data, and to increase hits on the travel section of the Curtin Health Service website by 100%.
Independent judges Dr Alan Leeb, immunisation nurse Kate Russo, and Helen Moore from the Australian Medicare Local Alliance, selected the winners from 52 entries from across Australia.
“Vaxigrants offers healthcare professionals an opportunity to showcase their creative ideas around immunisation. It also gives them a chance to receive substantial funding to put their ideas in practice,” Dr Leeb said.
“What really stood out for me this year was the number of entries coming directly from general practice and the high standard of innovative ideas. 75% of all vaccines are delivered in general practice so it’s really heartening to engage with this group,” Dr Leeb said.
Sanofi Pasteur Medical & Regulatory Affairs Director Dr Andrea Forde said, “It’s a real privilege to sponsor Vaxigrants and we congratulate all five winners this year.”
“In Australia we generally have high rates of immunisation, but there are some communities and areas where the awareness of vaccines, and the diseases they prevent, could be stronger. We look forward to seeing the winning entries put their ideas into practice,” Dr Forde said

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