Students work with Spokane clinic to provide vaccines

Partnership with WSU to offer free immunization shots for children, adults



Kari Lidbeck, Spokane Regional Health District immunization community network specialist, says they administered a total of 2,135 vaccines last year.

DAISY ZAVALA, Evergreen managing editor

WSU College of Nursing and College of Pharmacy has partnered with Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) to provide immunization vaccines for children and eligible adults in the Spokane County.

Kari Lidbeck, SRHD immunization community network specialist, said the target population for immunization vaccines are mainly children.

Lidbeck said schools have a cut-off date of Oct. 1. If a child is not up-to-date with their vaccines, they might be excluded from school or would need an exemption form. Parents use this opportunity to bring their children to school for a vaccination rather than scheduling an appointment at a clinic.

“The other target population is people in the community who maybe don’t routinely utilize medical care, [like] our homeless populations and people who are living in a shelter,” she said.

Student vaccinators would go to shelters like the Union Gospel Mission, senior citizen centers and places for adults who typically do not have medical care or coverage but are in need of certain vaccines, Lidbeck said.

“We do receive a limited number of specialized vaccinations from the adult vaccination program through the Department of Health,” she said. “These include vaccines for measles, booster shots for tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, hepatitis A and hepatitis B.”

Lidbeck said these free clinics are available to the community because SRHD is community-based, originally starting a partnership with WSU in 2014.

At times, WSU students and faculty pick up supplies from the SRHD facility and take them to the designated location to set up free clinics in locations outside of schools for adults, Lidbeck said.

Sarah Griffith, College of Nursing instructor, said some people do not have access or cannot afford immunizations.

“For the good of the entire community, it’s imperative [for] many people [to] be vaccinated as [much as] possible,” Griffith said.

These free clinics can also give nursing students an opportunity to practice their skills, she said.

“Students through every semester are guided through how to use therapeutic communication in all situations and how to deescalate tense situations,” Griffith said.

SRHD has spring clinics between February and April, as well as fall clinics between September and November, Lidbeck said.

There were 1,400 client visits and 2,135 total vaccines administered last year, she said.