2011 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Senator(s) Fillingane
AN ACT TO DIRECT THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH TO APPLY FOR FEDERAL GRANTS AND TO PROVIDE AN INFLUENZA VACCINATION SCHOOL PROGRAM IN MISSISSIPPI FOR SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN 5 THROUGH 18 YEARS OF AGE AND TO PROVIDE CERTAIN STANDARDS FOR THE PROGRAM; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The State of Mississippi finds as follows:
(a) Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The best way to help prevent seasonal influenza is by getting a vaccination each year.
(b) Every year in the United States, on average, more than two hundred thousand (200,000) people are hospitalized from influenza-related complications and about thirty-six thousand (36,000) people, mostly the elderly, die from influenza-related causes.
(c) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends seasonal influenza vaccinations for all eligible persons in the U.S., including eligible children aged six (6) months through eighteen (18) years of age.
(d) Children and young adults five (5) years to nineteen (19) years of age are three (3) to four (4) times more likely to be infected with influenza than adults.
(e) School-aged children are the population group most responsible for transmission of contagious respiratory viruses, including influenza.
(f) The elderly are the next most vulnerable population to severe illness from influenza due to weaker immune response to vaccination.
(g) School-located influenza vaccination programs may be an effective way to vaccinate children while reducing transmission and infection rates to the larger community and at the same time reducing rates of school absenteeism due to children being infected with influenza.
(h) Schools can be an effective infrastructure tool to improve pandemic planning by identifying known and effective pandemic vaccination centers.
(i) Although experience has demonstrated the feasibility and success of school-located influenza vaccination programs in vaccinating children, funding and logistical issues, particularly involving the delivery of vaccine to children with private insurance coverage, are issues with program sustainability.
(j) Given the significant fiscal challenges ahead for Mississippi, it is important for the Legislature to ensure that state agencies maximize their opportunity to obtain additional federal funds.
(k) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to take full advantage of the funding and grant opportunities through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to improve state health care programs and invest in health prevention.
SECTION 2. Funding for School-Located Influenza Vaccination Programs.
(1) The Mississippi Department of Health shall apply for federal grants and appropriations under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Public Law 111-148, to fund, build infrastructure, promote and expand school-located influenza vaccination programs to provide seasonal influenza influenza vaccinations for school-aged children. The agency shall seek grants and appropriations from the following sources:
(a) Section 4201 of PPACA, Community Transformation Grants for the promotion of health living and reduction of racial and ethnic disparities.
(b) Section 4002, the Prevention and Public Health Investment Fund for prevention and public health initiatives.
(c) Section 4004, which provides funding for public education and outreach programs to encourage preventive care services.
(d) Section 1201, which directs the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to fund demonstration projects to test wellness initiatives in the individual insurance market.
(e) Any other federal or private funding and grant opportunities for prevention and vaccination.
(2) The Mississippi Department of Health shall make information regarding federal grant and appropriations opportunities under PPACA available to local government agencies, local public health departments, school districts, and state and local nonprofit organizations via the agency's Web site.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2011.