Novel Immunization Reminder/Recall Approaches: Rural and Urban Differences in Parent Perceptions



      To assess the following among parents of young children: 1) preferences about the source of immunization reminder/recall (R/R) messages, 2) the degree of acceptability of different R/R modalities, and 3) factors that influence preferences, including rural and urban characteristics.


      We conducted a survey among parents of children 19 to 35 months old who needed ≥1 immunization according to the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS). Equal numbers of urban and rural respondents were randomly selected. Up to 4 surveys were mailed to each parent who had a valid address.


      After removing invalid addresses, the response rate was 55% (334 of 607). Half of parents (49.7%) had no preference about whether the public health department or their child's doctor sent reminders. Urban parents were more likely to prefer R/R come from their child's doctor (46.7%) compared to rural parents (33.7%), P = .003. Mail was the preferred R/R method (57.7%), then telephone (17.0%), e-mail (12.7%), and text message (10.7%). Although not preferred, 60.1% reported it would be acceptable to receive R/R by e-mail and 46.2% by text message. Factors associated with preferring to receive R/R from their child's doctor were urban residence and educational level of college graduate or greater.


      A large portion of parents are willing to be reminded about vaccinations by their health department rather than their child's provider and via novel modalities, such as e-mail or text messaging. Urbanicity and higher educational level were associated with preferring that R/R come from a provider.


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