BOSTON — Compared with family physicians, pediatricians offered influenza vaccine for a longer time during influenza season and administered the vaccine more frequently during sick visits, according to a study presented here.
According to findings from an abstract presented during the 2012 Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting, pediatrician offices began the vaccination of children against influenza 3 weeks earlier than family physician offices and ended 1.5 weeks later. In addition, pediatricians were more likely to administer influenza vaccine during sick visits (15% vs. 10%; P<.05). Pediatrician offices also more commonly employed standing orders and reminder systems.
To get a better understanding of these differences which have been demonstrated in the past with other childhood vaccines, Seth L. Toback, MD, director of medical affairs, MedImmune, and colleagues conducted a prospective, observational study that compared pediatric influenza vaccination practices of US pediatricians and family physicians during the 2010 to 2011 influenza season. The investigators enrolled a random sample of 105 pediatrician and 13 family physician offices in the study.
According to the findings, pediatricians had a higher vaccination coverage rate for all children 6 months through 18 years of age (24% vs. 14%) for at least one dose of vaccine, and both pediatricians and family physicians had similar compliance (56% vs. 57%) with the recommended two-dose regimen for previously unvaccinated children aged 6 months to 8 years of age.
In addition, pediatrician offices started influenza vaccination 3 weeks earlier and ended 1.5 weeks later compared with family physician offices (239 vs. 212 days; P=.003). Both specialties utilized well visits to administer the vaccine with 55% and 40% of all doses being delivered in this setting by family physicians and pediatricians, respectively, but pediatricians were more likely to give influenza vaccinations during sick visits (15% vs. 10%; P<0.05).
Toback said that 80% of pediatricians vs. 45% of family physicians used preservative-free vaccine when vaccinating children 6 to 23 months, and 46% of pediatricians used the intranasal vaccine vs. 20% of family physicians when vaccinating children 2 to 18 years of age. The authors concluded that a greater understanding of the different vaccination habits between the two specialties could help to create strategies to improve vaccination in all children.
For more information:
- Toback SL. #2915.214. Presented at: 2012 PAS Annual Meeting; April 28-May 1, 2012; Boston.
Disclosure: Dr .Toback is employed by MedImmune. The study was sponsored by MedImmune.