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Influenza vaccine delays are a problem for pediatricians

May 05, 2018

TORONTO, May 5, 2018 - Pediatricians report influenza vaccine delivery delays as a significant problem, particularly for the Vaccines For Children (VFC) program vaccines, leading to many missed opportunities for vaccination, according to a new survey being presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) 2018 Meeting.

A nationally representative survey among pediatricians was conducted from June 2017 through September 2017 to assess the extent to which delays in receipt of influenza vaccine from private and VFC program stocks pose problems and provider contingency plans in the event of influenza vaccine delays.

For private stock influenza vaccine, considering the last three influenza vaccination seasons, three percent reported delays in receipt of influenza vaccine as a major problem, 18 percent a moderate problem, 32 percent a minor problem, and 48 percent as not a problem. In contrast, for VFC influenza vaccine, 15 percent reported delays as a major problem, 32 percent a moderate problem, 33 percent a minor problem, and 20 percent as not a problem.

When either VFC or private influenza vaccine is out of stock, 56 percent reported delaying vaccination for patients whose vaccine is out of stock, 19 percent referred these patients elsewhere, seven percent postponed vaccination for all patients, and 18 percent borrowed vaccine between stocks. Among the 50 respondents who reported borrowing between stocks, almost all (98 percent) borrowed for individual patient visits while only 30 percent borrowed for influenza vaccination clinics.

Uptake of influenza vaccine among children is low compared to other childhood vaccines, and missed opportunities for vaccination play an important role in this low uptake. Problems with receiving influenza vaccine in a timely manner within pediatric practices are an important cause of missed opportunities, but little is known about pediatricians' experiences and practices related to influenza vaccine delivery delays. Providers use a variety of strategies for addressing these delays, but in most cases, children either must go elsewhere or return to the clinic to receive influenza vaccine. To increase uptake of influenza vaccine among children, systematic changes are needed to address these delays.

Dr. Sean O'Leary, one of the authors of the study, will present findings from "Experiences and Practices Regarding Influenza Vaccine Delays among Pediatricians" during the PAS 2018 Meeting on Saturday, May 5 at 5 p.m. EDT. Reporters interested in an interview with Dr. O'Leary should contact PAS2018@piercom.com.

Please note: Only the abstract is being presented at the meeting. In some cases, the researcher may have additional data to share with media.

The PAS 2018 Meeting, taking place in Toronto on May 5-8, 2018, brings together thousands of pediatric scientists and other health care providers to improve the health and well-being of children worldwide. For more information about the PAS 2018 Meeting, please visit http://www.pas-meeting.org.
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About The Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting

The Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting brings together thousands of pediatricians and other health care providers united by a common mission: improve the health and well-being of children worldwide. This international gathering includes researchers, academics, as well as clinical care providers and community practitioners. Presentations cover issues of interest to generalists as well as topics critical to a wide array of specialty and sub-specialty areas. The PAS Meeting is produced through a partnership of four pediatric organizations that are leaders in the advancement of pediatric research and child advocacy: American Pediatric Society, Society for Pediatric Research, Academic Pediatric Association and American Academy of Pediatrics. For more information, please visit http://www.pas-meeting.org. Follow us on Twitter @PASMeeting and #PAS2018, or like us on Facebook.

PAS Media Contact:

(214) 217-7300
PAS2018@piercom.com

PAS Press Office (May 5-8, 2018):
(832) 371-6239

Abstract: Experiences and Practices Regarding Influenza Vaccine Delays among Pediatricians

Background: Uptake of influenza vaccine among children is low compared to other childhood vaccines, and missed opportunities for vaccination play an important role in this low uptake. Problems with receiving influenza vaccine in a timely manner within pediatric practices are an important cause of missed opportunities, but little is known about pediatricians' experiences and practices related to influenza vaccine delivery delays.

Objective: To assess, among a national sample of pediatricians (Peds), 1) the extent to which delays in receipt of influenza vaccine from private and Vaccines-for-Children Program (VFC) stocks pose problems; and 2) provider contingency plans in the event of influenza vaccine delays.

Design/Methods: A nationally representative survey among Peds from June through September 2017.

Results: The response rate was 79% (372/471). For private stock influenza vaccine, considering the last 3 influenza vaccination seasons, 3% reported delays in receipt of influenza vaccine as a major problem, 18% a moderate problem, 32% a minor problem, and 48% as not a problem. In contrast, for VFC influenza vaccine, 15% reported delays as a major problem, 32% a moderate problem, 33% a minor problem, and 20% as not a problem (p<0.001 for private stock versus VFC). When either VFC or private influenza vaccine is out-of-stock, 56% reported delaying vaccination for patients whose vaccine is out-of-stock, 19% referred these patients elsewhere, 7% postponed vaccination for all patients, and 18% borrowed vaccine between stocks. Among the 50 respondents who reported borrowing between stocks, almost all (98%) borrowed for individual patient visits while only 30% borrowed for influenza vaccination clinics.

Conclusion(s): Pediatricians report influenza vaccine delivery delays as a significant problem, particularly for VFC vaccines, leading to many missed opportunities for vaccination. Providers use a variety of strategies for addressing these delays, but in most cases, children either must go elsewhere or return to the clinic to receive influenza vaccine. To increase uptake of influenza vaccine among children, systematic changes are needed to address these delays.

Authors: Sean O'Leary, Mandy Allison, Laura Hurley, Brenda Beaty, Lori Crane, Michaela Brtnikova, Erin McBurney, Allison Kempe

Pediatric Academic Societies

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