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Potential Strategies to Achieve Universal Influenza Vaccination for Children: Provider Attitudes in Two States

      Abstract

      Objective

      Childhood influenza vaccination rates remain suboptimal. Provider perceptions on strategies to achieve universal vaccination are needed. We assessed the perceptions and attitudes of primary care providers across 2 states regarding 2 strategies to potentially bolster rates: centralized reminder/recall (C-R/R), such as reminder/recall (R/R) notices from state immunization registries, and influenza vaccination by complementary community vaccinators (CCVs), such as retail pharmacies, schools, and health departments.

      Methods

      We sent a mailed survey to a representative sample of providers across Colorado and New York. Questions addressed 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. Bivariate analyses assessed provider perceptions and compared perceptions by state.

      Results

      The overall response rate was 56% (n = 590/1052). Twenty-two percent of providers in Colorado and 33% in New York performed practice-based R/R for all patients during the 2015–16 influenza season. Eighty-one percent of providers in both states preferred the health department or had no preference for who sent C-R/R notices for influenza vaccine to their patients; most preferred to include their practice names on C-R/R messages. Many providers in both Colorado (75%) and New York (46%, P < .001) agreed that their patients like the option of having CCVs 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.

      Conclusions

      Most providers support C-R/R, and many support CCVs to increase influenza vaccination rates. Collaborations between traditional primary care providers and CCVs might boost coverage.

      Keywords

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