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Strategies to Achieve Universal Flu Vaccination

Acad Pediatr; ePub 2018 Jul 18; Saville, et al

Most providers support Centralized-Reminder/Recall (C-R/R) and many support complementary community vaccinators (CCVs) to increase childhood influenza vaccination rates, a recent study found. Furthermore, collaborations between traditional primary care providers and CCVs might boost coverage. Researchers sent a mailed survey to a representative sample of providers across Colorado and New York. Questions examined R/R activities for influenza vaccine, preferences and attitudes about the health department sending C-R/R notices for influenza vaccine, and attitudes about CCVs. They found:

  • The overall response rate was 56% (n=590/1,052).
  • 22% of providers in CO and 33% in NY performed practice-based R/R for all patients during the 2015-2016 influenza season.
  • 81% of providers in both states preferred the health department or had no preference for who sent C-R/R for influenza vaccine to their patients; most preferred to include their practice names on C-R/R messages.
  • Many providers in both CO (75%) and NY (46%) agree that their patients like the option of having CCV where children can receive influenza vaccine.
  • Some providers expressed concerns regarding potential loss of income and/or difficulty documenting receipt of influenza vaccine at CCVs.
Citation:

Saville A, Szilagyi P, Helmkamp L, et al. Potential strategies to achieve universal influenza vaccination for children: Provider attitudes in two states. [Published online ahead of print July 18, 2018]. Acad Pediatr. doi:10.1016/j.acap.2018.07.003.

Commentary:

This study compared the attitudes of providers in 2 different states with potential strategies to improve influenza vaccination in children. Although a minority of providers sent out influenza recalls to their patients, they were receptive to the idea of the health department sending out patient recalls, particularly if provider information was included. Providers were also positive about the possibility of alternative community vaccine providers administering influenza vaccine, although with some concern about potential loss of income and vaccine documentation. State immunization registries are essential for this strategy to be successful as they contain the most up-to-date and accurate data if used by all providers who administer vaccines.—Sarah Rawstron, MB, BS, FAAP, FIDSA; Pediatric Residency Program Director, The Brooklyn Hospital Center, NY; Clinical Associate Professor, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, NY.

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