Vaxigrants to raise immunisation rates

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, is offering $100,000 in grants to bring to life the country’s most innovative ideas aimed at improving vaccination uptake in communities with low immunisation rates.

The division has opened submissions for its Vaxigrants program to Australian immunisation providers, which are encouraged to share their unique and replicable ideas to receive one of four $25,000 grants.

In its fifth year, Vaxigrants offers healthcare professionals a chance to make a difference in their communities, while increasing wider awareness of the importance of immunisation in protecting against diseases.
Sanofi Pasteur General Manager Russell Jacobson is calling on those working in the area of vaccination to submit innovative and practical solutions to the challenges of vaccination uptake within specific and broader communities.
“Vaxigrants will be awarded to ideas that can make real and lasting change in communities that might not be experiencing the full health benefits of vaccinations,”Mr Jacobson said.

“While Australia has high rates of vaccination, we still see some communities with low immunisation rates. We’re interested in hearing ideas from the industry on how to create a broader understanding of the benefits of immunisation.”
Immunologist Professor Robert Booy, a Vaxigrants judge, is encouraging Australian healthcare professionals to share their bright ideas to help tackle existing challenges to vaccine uptake.

“Healthcare professionals know, better than anyone, the challenges to vaccination,” he said. “Vaxigrants support healthcare professionals to create viable and lasting solutions to these challenges and obstacles.”
Past Vaxigrants recipients have included Mobile GP in Western Australia for its ‘Get ready for winter’ campaign to deliver free flu vaccinations to homeless and disadvantaged groups at 10 mobile clinics around Perth.

Sanofi Pasteur is calling for healthcare professionals to submit their smart solutions for improving vaccination coverage rates in one or more of the following patient groups:
Challenging to access – eg, indigenous people, out-of-home care children, refugees, asylum seekers.

Those travelling overseas and intending to visit friends and relatives, and/or travelling for business purposes.

Those with underlying medical conditions – eg, diabetes, asthma.
The vaccine-hesitant.

Acknowledging the importance of out-of-the-box thinking, Sanofi Pasteur is also encouraging submissions for innovative immunisation ideas unspecified in the outlined categories.

Vaxigrants entries opened on Wednesday (June 8) and will close on August 8, 2016. To submit an idea and apply for a Vaxigrant, visit  http://www.vaxigrants.com.au.