Institute for Community Research
Vaccinate for Influenza Prevention (VIP) Pilot Study

Vaccinate for Influenza Prevention (VIP) Pilot Study

Vaccination for flu

Vaccinate for Influenza Prevention: A Pilot Study of Influenza Vaccine Acceptability Among Residents of Senior Housing

Influenza disproportionately affects African-American, Latino and other minority and low-income older adults.  Complications related to influenza may cause older adults’ health to deteriorate significantly.  In densely populated residential communities, an increase in flu vaccination rates can greatly improve both individual and community health.  To raise the rates, it is first necessary to correct misconceptions about the vaccine, and to identify reasons the older adults are averse to it.  A peer-led intervention can offer education, health promotion, community advocacy, and direct access to care.   V.I.P.: Vaccinate for Influenza Prevention was designed to increase influenza vaccination rates and promote a proactive and sustainable approach to health maintenance among low-income, primarily minority older adults living independently in a senior housing building in Hartford, CT.

This pilot study was based on six years of community-based collaborative research with older adults.  A study of HIV exposure in Hartford and Chicago, AIDS Risk in Older Urban Adult Senior Housing Residents, showed that older adults living in senior housing are concerned for their health. A study of depression, Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Older Hartford Residents, showed what barriers keep senior housing residents from accessing healthcare. These projects helped forge ICR’s relationship with building staff and residents. The VIP pilot provided formative research for an expanded one-year study, VIP II, funded by the Centers for Disease Control.

Project Staff

Jean J. Schensul, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator
Founder and Senior Scientist

Kim Radda, R.N., ABD
Project Director
Ken Williamson, Ph.D.
Intervention Facilitator
William B. Disch, Ph.D.
Senior Research Analyst
Michelle Garner, B.A.
Data Manager
Evelyn Baez, B.A.
Community Researcher
Helena de Moura-Castro, B.A.
Community Researcher
Julianne Gonzalez
Community Researcher

University of Connecticut Health Center, Center for Immunotherapy of Cancer and Infectious Diseases
Janet McElhaney, M.D.
Co-Principal Investigator
Daniel Chaput, M.M.
Community Researcher

Hartford Housing Authority
Elizabeth Rodriguez
Wanda Moore

VNA Health Care Inc. of Greater Hartford
Laurie St. John, R.N., M.S.N.

North Central Area Agency on Aging (NCAAA)
Carmen Y. Reyes, M.S.M.
Laurie Brooks


Please read the project abstract here.


Please read the project findings here.