Success Built on Trust
As of Dec. 5, 2018, the VUMC Street Psychiatry team had encountered 151 unique individuals experiencing homelessness during 19 weeks at 15 different sites. Within that population, 89 patients reported being unvaccinated against hepatitis A, while 63 patients reported having already received the vaccine. Of the unvaccinated cohort, 75 patients (84 percent) agreed to the vaccination and 14 patients (16 percent) declined. In total, between patients who had already received the vaccine and those who were newly vaccinated, 91 percent of patients living among these camps were vaccinated.
The influenza vaccine wasn’t offered through the program until the beginning of flu season in October 2018. As of Dec. 5, the flu vaccine had been offered at seven different encampments over a period of eight weeks, with 61 people encountered. Nineteen people reported already receiving the vaccine, 22 patients (55 percent) agreed to the vaccine and 20 patients declined. In total, 67 percent of people living in these encampments were vaccinated. In comparison, during the 2017-2018 flu season, flu vaccine coverage nationally was only 37 percent.