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Report: Integration of Kansas WIC Clinics with Childhood Immunization Activities

By | July 16, 2013

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Integration of Kansas WIC Clinics with Childhood Immunization Activities

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This report, published by KHI for the Immunize Kansas Kids coalition, provides information about experiences, outcomes and current practices linking WIC clinic sites with immunization activities.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a federally sponsored grant program that provides nutrition education, vouchers for specific food items and referrals for needed health care services. The WIC program serves low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, and infants and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk.

Nationally, the WIC program serves slightly more than half (53 percent) of all infants born in the United States. Mothers and children who participate in the WIC program visit their local WIC clinic every few months to receive health assessments and nutrition education and to pick up food vouchers. WIC clinics are frequently located in the same building as, or within close proximity to, local health departments or community health care services.

Because of the large number of young children served by the WIC program, the program’s alignment with the overall goal of improving the health of young children, and the fact that immunization rates have historically been lower among low-income children, WIC clinics have long been viewed by public health professionals, researchers and policymakers as offering opportunities to support efforts to improve childhood immunization coverage rates. This report explores the relationship between immunizations and WIC clinics in Kansas.