Blue Waves Pattern




August 2020   |   Virtual Event



August 2020   |   Virtual Event




Expert Speakers will discuss strategies to address vaccine hesitancy, further the discussion around immunizations in the community, and review vaccine-specific updates. Attendees will have the opportunitiy to participate in educational workshops and clinical skill building training while networking with fellow immunization stakeholders throughout the Pacific Nortwhest

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss innovative and practical strategies to improve communication with patients, parents, and caregivers about the benefits and risks of vaccination and address vaccine hesitancy

  • Describe the role of Points of Dispensing (PODs) and how to effectively set up mass vaccination clinics

  • Examine disease outbreaks and understand how viruses emerge from their animal reservoirs.

  • Describe the impact of COVID-19 and subsequent healthcare response to COVID-19 on routine immunization uptake.

  • Identify best practices for implementing student-led immunization programs in specific practice settings

  • Explore strategies and best practices to increase HPV immunization completion rates in rural clinical practices.


SESSION topics

Anti-Vaxxers: How to Address

a Misinformed Movement

Tuesday, August 25th   |   11am - 12pm

The story of the anti-vaccine movement is often told starting in 1998, but vaccine opposition has existed since the first vaccination. By understanding the historical antecedents of the modern anti-vaccine movements, we can understand how this movement has been addressed in the past, and how it can be addressed in the future.  This session will discuss arguments used by the anti-vaccine movement, the role of social media in spreading misinformation, the demographics of anti-vaxxers, and different strategies that can be used to address anti-vaxxers, the vaccine hesitant, and the undervaccinated. 

Learning Objectives

  1. Cognitive errors that lead people to the anti-vaccine movement.

  2. Historical anti-vaccine movements and how they lead to the present anti-vaccine movement.

  3. Talking with, and living with anti-vaxxers.

The Age of Pandemics: Microbes at

the Human-Animal Interface


Barbara Canavan, PhD

There is evidence that zoonotic (animal origin) viruses cause many of the emerging infectious disease outbreaks, from bird flu to coronavirus and others.  Bats of various species are the likely animal reservoirs for Hendra, Nipah, SARS, MERS, Ebola, and COVID-19, diseases that increase the burden of human disease.  There is fear that if bird flu were to become transmissible among humans (currently, it is not) it could herald a pandemic with a terrifying sixty percent human fatality rate.  These prior coronavirus and bird flu outbreaks served as hypothetical dress rehearsals for future zoonotic diseases, those with the public health risk of pandemic spread.  However, scientific warnings about these risks were neither heard nor heeded.  Now, a zoonotic virus has sparked our shocking COVID-19 pandemic. But coronaviruses are only the tip of the metaphorical pandemic iceberg.  An essential public health goal is to find the animal reservoirs of pathogens before they jump to humans.  This “upstream” approach could improve feedback among wildlife and public health professionals as they screen local samples areas of risk for zoonotic spillover (wildlife markets, farms, etc.).  Yet, many local regions with zoonotic hotspots lack testing facilities to conduct disease surveillance.  The COVID-19 pandemic is unambiguous evidence that we need to bridge the gap between infectious disease research and response.  Funding and political will are essential. Presentation will include: 1) overview of viruses with pandemic potential; 2) a case study for H5N1 Bird Flu to illustrate the interplay of environmental and social factors in emerging pandemics; 3) lessons from the 1918 Pandemic; 4) history of coronavirus epidemics and research into horseshoe bats as the coronavirus reservoir. It is likely we will not have to wait 100 years for the next pandemic.  Phenomena can overtake humans far in advance of understanding the causes.  The role of the contingent and unseen is powerful.  

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the risk of viruses that come from the animal world.

  2. Understand how bird flu and coronaviruses emerged from their animal reservoirs.


Project VCTR: Vaccine Communication

Tracking and Response

tUESDAY, aUGUST 18TH   |   2PM - 3PM

Allison Gallegos-Jeffrey, MPH

Vaccine hesitancy is a major global health threat, with digital and social media a primary source of misinformation and means of organizing by the anti-vaccination movement. Social media is being used to support the spread of misinformation, amplifying the vaccine debate by exposing millions of people to false information.  Despite this, there has been no systematic, sustained effort to identify, track, and report vaccine misinformation. Misinformation has reached a critical level, while pro-vaccine and vaccine-hesitant communities have become increasingly polarized. Messaging reflecting negative or “anti” attitudes towards vaccines circulates in ever-growing communities that appear largely immune to traditional health promotion strategies and scientific information. The ramifications of this are severe. Starting in June 2019, The Public Good Projects (PGP) commenced a full-time effort, Project VCTR, to identify, track, and respond to vaccine-related communication, guided by the following research questions: how personal variables correlate with vaccination content; types of pro- and anti-vaccination messages that are positively received, and by whom; and how vaccine messages gain traction in the online space. In order to keep public health organizations, health systems, educators, and the media apprised of the most up-to-date information, PGP provides real-time data and weekly analysis to, including the volume of pro- and anti-vaccination information the public is exposed to and the dominant themes at both the national and state level. PGP’s use of innovative technologies is a critical step in understanding the social and structural factors that impact vaccine hesitancy, educating the public on the crisis of vaccine misinformation, highlighting the most common anti-vaccination messages, and supporting those on the frontlines of the fight against vaccine misinformation with up-to-date information to improve public health. This information is intended to be used by partners to create programs and messages that communicate the efficacy of vaccines, responding to how vaccines are being understood by the general public through exposure to online conversations about vaccines. 

Learning Objectives

  1.  Learn about the volume and themes of anti-vaccination conversation online.

  2.  Examine ways to identify and address vaccine misinformation.  

  3.  Understand ways to create programs and messages that speak directly to the way people are exposed to how vaccination is being discussed online.


HPV Vaccine Hesitancy: Addressing Myths and Communicating with Parents Effectively

tUESDAY, aUGUST 25TH   |   2PM - 3PM

Ari O'Donovan, bs

Parents express hesitancy about the HPV vaccine more than any other vaccine currently available. This presentation dispels common myths about the HPV vaccine, presents parents’ reasons for hesitancy, and offers effective communication strategies and useful resources. 

Learning Objectives

  1. Ability to counter myths about the HPV vaccine.

  2. Understand reasons for parents’ hesitancy about the HPV vaccine.

  3. Learn how to address that hesitancy by communicating effectively.

  4. Know how to access additional resources to support parents’ HPV vaccine decisions.


Measles Immunization: The Need for

Evidence-Based School Entry Laws

mONDAY, aUGUST 10TH   |   3:30PM - 4:30PM

Gina Phillipi, BA

In the past few years measles cases have soared in the United States, with 1282 cases in 2019. As measles outbreaks continue, physicians and public health officials are receiving more questions about accelerated measles vaccine schedules, and if early vaccination will lead to extra measles-containing vaccine doses upon kindergarten entry as a result of state immunization requirements. To dispel concerns about governmental over-reach, while encouraging immunization, state laws should be consistent with guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Currently 30% of states do not mirror these recommendations; their laws either do not specify age or timing requirements for one or both of the doses, or the recommended timing differs from national guidelines. School vaccine entry laws should be modified to include scientifically based language that aligns with the ACIP routine immunization schedule, so that physicians and public health officials can best support families with clear and consistent messaging.

Learning Objectives

  1.   ACIP guidelines for measles immunization.

  2.  Current status of school entry laws in the Northwest.

  3.  Changes needed to school entry laws to mirror current guidelines.


The Creation of An Interprofessional,

Student-Run Vaccine Clinic for the Underserved

wEDNESDAY, aUGUST 12TH   |   12PM - 1PM

Alyssa Hjelvik, MBA
Francesca Andronic, BS

Background: Bridges Collaborative Care Clinic (BCCC) is Oregon’s first multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary student-run free clinic. BCCC’s mission is to engage vulnerable populations by providing low-barrier, participant-centered care and services in the Portland metro area through an interprofessional, student-led clinic. As an interprofessional collaboration, BCCC engages students from public health, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, physician assistant, and social work programs. 

An immunization program created collaboratively between medical, dental, nursing, and pharmacy students was designed to integrate interprofessional students in community-based infectious disease prevention. This project follows the Oregon State House Bill 2220 that adds the prescription and administration of vaccines into a dentist’s scope of practice. Community partners included Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Transition Projects, Inc. (TPI). TPI provides housing and social services to individuals experiencing homelessness in the Portland metro area. This illustrates how the different health professions educational programs contribute to an interprofessional clinic and public health interventions and highlights the importance of early educational experiences in response to changes in healthcare professions’ scope of practice.


Learning Objectives

  1.  Learn about Oregon State House Bill 2220 that allows for prescription and administration of vaccines by dentists.

  2.  Determine how to implement a workflow for a student-led vaccine clinic.


Improving Immunization Rates in an

Era of Vaccine Hesitancy

mONDAY, aUGUST 17TH   |   10AM - 11AM

Gretchen LaSalle, MD, FAAFP

In 2019, the W.H.O. listed vaccine hesitancy as one of the top 10 threats to global health. As immunization rates fall, we are seeing a return of vaccine-preventable diseases and, now with a COVID19 vaccine on the horizon, it is more important than ever that primary care clinicians feel confident in addressing the myriad and shifting concerns of their vaccine-hesitant patients. 


Learning Objectives

  1.  Look at where we stand with respect to vaccine hesitancy in the US and in our region.

  2.  Review prove approaches to the vaccine discussion.

  3.  Discuss operational efficiencies that can aid our immunization efforts.

  4.  Address common vaccine concerns and misconceptions with data-driven responses.



HPV Take the Shot Campaign


Carmen Boone, MS

Jessa Donaldson, 

The HPV vaccine is the first vaccine available to prevent cancer and provides parents with a unique opportunity to protect their children from some of the most common forms of cancer. In this project we took the cancer prevention message to parents in non-clinical settings.  The purpose of this project was to address barriers to vaccination.  Research has shown that with provider recommendation, parents often, initiate the first HPV vaccine in the series but don’t follow through with completion.  The study question: Will increasing education in non-clinical settings and decreasing barriers to vaccination increase vaccine series initiation and completion. OPAHEC along with the American Cancer Society and Samaritan Health Services created an educational campaign and non-traditional vaccine clinics at the Boys and Girls Club of Albany (BGCA). Students in the Community Health Program at Western Oregon University and Oregon State University Pre-Med Club were recruited and trained to act as Community Health Advocates. Students specifically were trained to approach parents and provide accurate and unbiased information about vaccine efficacy and schedules. Many student volunteers were uniquely qualified to assist with the program not only because of their education background but also because they were bilingual and bicultural. They were able to communicate health information in the parents’ native languages. The Community Health Advocacy Program began 2 weeks prior to the scheduled on-site clinics. Additionally, an educational program was developed for Latin-x parent group in Spanish to inform parents of HPV cancers and prevention through vaccination. The free walk-in vaccine clinic was offered over multiple days at the BCGA during non-traditional hours and was advertised in conjunction with the school district and BCGA. In this presentation we will share the strategic steps we took to develop a multi-level approach to address the barriers and the partners we employed to carry out the project.

Learning Objectives

  1.  Describe the steps to establish a multi-partner community education and vaccine campaign.

  2.  Identify barriers to HPV vaccine series completion and develop remedies.

  3.  Identify statewide resources to implementing vaccine improvement campaigns. 

  4.  Explain steps in implementing a community vaccine improvement campaign.


It’s Shot O’ Clock: Leveraging Pharmacy

Students to Increase Immunization Rates

wEDNESDAY, aUGUST 26TH   |   11AM - 12PM

Ann Tong, B.S.

Cody Duong, B.S.

Kailey Hifumi

Ivana Wu, B.S.

Operation Immunization (OI), a student- and faculty-run initiative of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) with student chapters at each school of pharmacy, was birthed from the recognition that vaccine education and immunization opportunities were needed to advocate for local community wellness. Collaboration between student pharmacy interns, faculty, pharmacist preceptors, and key stakeholders has been integral to the success of immunization campaigns historically. In the context of COVID-19 running concurrently with the upcoming flu season, the coordination of trained and certified student pharmacy interns in immunizing the community alongside healthcare providers could potentially optimize the rate at which the community, including underserved and under-vaccinated populations, is caught up with routine vaccination schedules. As noted by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), previous rates of influenza immunization were insufficient to halt the spread of influenza in Oregon. The inclusion of student pharmacy interns in upholding community immunity, and advocating for the safety of the community, is intended to unify the efforts between healthcare providers, community partners, organizations, agencies, and health profession graduate programs into a strengthened partnership. Through a unified partnership, the hope is that student pharmacy interns may help optimally carry out the campaign mission shared by the other key stakeholders as well as gain valuable and rewarding outreach experience. This presentation further intends to walk the audience through the logistics of event planning and coordination and help them understand the role of student pharmacy interns in their local community outreach efforts. 

Learning Objectives

  1.  Describe the impact of COVID-19 and subsequent healthcare response to COVID-19 on routine immunization uptake.

  2.  Identify the role of student pharmacy interns and recall the scope of student pharmacy intern practice in the context of immunization clinics.

  3.  Analyze the relationship between preceptors and students under the lens of administering immunizations and providing education.

  4.  Recognize utility in pursuing partnerships with immunization organizations and coalitions to expand immunization coverage in Oregon.

Understanding Organizational Structures that Support HPV Immunization in Oregon's Rural Primary Care Settings

tHURSDAY, aUGUST 27TH   |   12PM - 1PM

Rose Gunn, MA

Laura Ferrara, MA

Despite the safety and efficacy of the human papillomavirus vaccine, thousands are impacted by human papillomavirus and its related cancers. Rural regions have disproportionately low rates of human papillomavirus vaccination. Primary care clinics play an important role in delivering the human papillomavirus vaccine. We will introduce the Rural Adolescent Vaccine Enterprise, a multi-aim project involving clinics to increase adolescent HPV vaccination rates in rural Oregon. We will describe findings from Aim 1, which used a positive deviance approach to identify workflows, organizational factors, and communication strategies in Oregon’s rural clinics with higher human papillomavirus vaccine up-to-date rates. We will share four themes that distinguished rural Oregon clinics with higher human papillomavirus vaccine up-to date rates from those with lower rates. We will also discuss improvement efforts to increase HPV vaccine completion. For further reading, see our newly published paper in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine: Human Papillomavirus Immunization in Rural Primary Care.

Learning Objectives

  1.  Identify common themes that distinguish higher HPV vaccine up to date rates from clinics with lower rates.

  2.  Explain quality improvement efforts to boost HPV vaccine completion in Oregon rural clinical practices.


Mass Vaccination 101: Utilizing

a Point of Dispensing

tHURSDAY, aUGUST 13TH   |   1PM - 2PM

Chris Dotson, MS

During an emergency, public health workers may be called upon to help dispense medical countermeasures (MCMs), such as medications, vaccines, or other medical supplies. Engaging community health care partners to support PODs, public health agencies can collaborate to strengthen emergency preparedness and quickly supply medical treatment . This training will provide an orientation to public and private Points of Dispensing (POD) operations, including planning considerations, site preparedness, and the logistics of providing MCMs to large populations. 

Learning Objectives

  1.  Describe the purpose and general process flow of a mass dispensing clinic or a point of distribution (POD).

  2.  Identify the difference between public PODs and private PODs

  3.  Key considerations for POD facility and the appropriate equipment needed

  4.  Important staffing roles and required training to respond to a large public health emergency


Advocating for Better

Vaccination Public Policies


Jake Weigler, MA

Meg Olson

Megan Wever

Advocates tried in 2015 and 2019 to restrict exemptions relating to vaccination requirements for Oregon schools. In both cases, they faced vocal opposition from vaccine skeptics. How can proponents of stronger vaccination public policies succeed in convincing elected leaders to act? In today’s environment, sound science and evidence-based policies are being questioned due to political polarization. It is no longer enough to let the “facts speak for themselves.” Given most Oregonians support vaccine policies that protect the public health, how can supporters ensure those policies are adopted into law? And how has the COVID-19 pandemic helped the pro-vaccine agenda and what new challenges has it added to the debate? Applying our experience in advocacy we will outline the strategies and tactics necessary to succeed in adopting policies despite an energized opposition. The discussion will include: How to overcome an intensity gap when faced with a small, vocal opposition; How to frame the debate and avoid rhetorical traps used by opponents; How to diversify your advocates to show breadth of support; How can advocacy work be structured to protect your organization’s reputation from anti-vaccination activists; How to approach advocacy in the digital space; How the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting advocacy in this area

Learning Objectives

  1. Define what effective vaccine advocacy means

  2. Discuss steps for organizations to prepare for public policy debate on vaccinations