Student experience on vaccination day can increase or decrease subsequent uptake for second and third doses.
The following tips will help you run a successful vaccination day in your school.
Scheduling, location and vaccination process
The vaccine should ideally be given over a six-month period at 0, 2 and 6 months.
If a dose is missed (for example because the student is absent that day), your vaccination team should send a letter to the student and his or her parents with instructions on how to arrange a catch-up dose.
Try to hold the first vaccination day early in the school year as it can be hard to find suitable dates for appropriately timed second and third vaccination days in the busy time towards the end of the school year.
It is best to vaccinate students early in the day to lessen anxiety.
It is best to vaccinate anxious students first so as not to alarm others.
Avoid having too many students queuing as this can increase anxiety – one class or less at a time is best.
Play our HPV teen video again, reinforcing the benefits of HPV immunisation.
Ensure the room you choose to vaccinate students in has the following facilities:
- Moderate temperature
- Good ventilation
- Low noise level
- Away from stairs or concrete
- Chairs for the student/s being vaccinated and the immunisation nurse/s, and tables/desks for nurses and administration staff equipment
- Screen to protect the privacy of the student/s being vaccinated
- Drinking water available
An adjacent or nearby observation area will be required, with:
- Ample chairs for vaccinated students to be monitored for 15 minutes
- Drinking water
- Books/magazines/TV – these are a good distraction technique which can ease anxiety.
Ensure the rooms you use for vaccinating and observing students allow smooth flow between them, and back and forth to classrooms.
Check whether food and drink is needed for the immunisation nurse/s, and schedule a break for them!
A school immunisation coordinator should be nominated at the end of the previous year. This person should engage quickly with the local immunisation coordinator and be present on all vaccination days wherever possible.
Additional members of staff should be rostered to assist on all vaccination days, to allow:
- One staff member to monitor the queue and check consent forms on entry
- One staff member (or an older student volunteer) to act as a ‘runner' and bring new classes to the queue when necessary
- One staff member to monitor students in the observation room for 15 minutes then send them back to class or observe them for longer as appropriate
- One spare member of staff
Staff assisting should be calm, supportive and not dismiss student concerns. If possible they should be known to students.
If allocating the 3–4 staff members above to assist is not possible, consider getting a contract nurse or ambulance volunteer to act as an assistant.
Also consider a peer support program, with older students supporting younger ones before and after they have the vaccine.
The school's immunisation coordinator and their assistant/s will all require lesson cover on vaccination days.
Consider any Muslim girls at your school who may not be comfortable exposing their arms to receive the vaccine if male staff members or immunisation nurses are in attendance.
Let other staff know if students will need to leave their class to receive the vaccine.