October 09, 2018
2 min read

CME program leads to increased pediatric influenza vaccinations

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact

Photo of William Fisher
William Fisher

SAN FRANCISCO — Health care providers who completed an online continuing medical education program on seasonal influenza in young children and parents’ influenza vaccine hesitancy vaccinated more infants against influenza than those who did not participate in the program, according to research presented at IDWeek.

“This study assessed the impact of a theory-based online CME designed to strengthen health care provider efficacy in vaccinating infants aged 6 to 24 months against seasonal influenza,” William Fisher, PhD, FCAHS, a distinguished professor in the departments of psychology and obstetrics and gynecology at Western University in London, Ontario, told Infectious Diseases in Children. “The intervention conveyed easy-to-translate-into practice information about effective vaccine offering, strengthened health care provider motivation to act on this information, and coached behavioral skills for effective vaccine offering.”

The researchers noted that “children aged 6 to 23 months have a high risk of complications and are considered one of the priority groups for influenza immunization by the Canada National Advisory Committee on Immunization.”

Fisher and colleagues studied how the CME program, certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada, impacted seasonal influenza vaccination during the 2016-2017 influenza season by conducting a multicenter randomized controlled trial in which 68 health care professionals (HCPs) were randomly assigned to receive an information-motivation-behavioral skills model (IMB)-based CME (n = 33) or routine practice consisting of no CME (n = 35). The researchers reported that the CME activity included information on influenza burden in young children and parental hesitancy of vaccinating children for influenza, and was designed to “inform, motivate and upskill” HCPs.

Vaccine options, including the adjuvanted, trivalent, inactive influenza vaccine (aTIV) were reviewed. The researchers compared immunization rates between the two cohorts using Pearson’s chi-squared and logistic regression modeling.

They studied the interactions between HCPs and parents during 628 visits, including 292 in the CME cohort and 336 in the routine practice cohort. The researchers reported that parents who saw the HCPs in the CME cohort were about 30% more likely to agree to immunize their child with seasonal influenza vaccination than parents who saw HCPs in the routine practice cohort (P = .007). The CME cohort had a 1.5 times higher adjusted odds of influenza immunization compared with the routine practice cohort.

Fisher and colleagues also noted that children who were treated by HCPs in the CME cohort were about 20% more likely to receive aTIV compared with children with HCPs in the routine practice cohort (P < .001).

“Results showed that HCPs who took part in the CME (compared to those who did not) vaccinated some 30% more infants against seasonal influenza and illustrated the worth of an information-motivation-behavioral skills-focused CME approach for translating continuing education into effective clinical action,” Fisher said. – by Bruce Thiel


Fisher W, et al. Abstract 2470. Presented at: IDWeek; Oct. 3-7, 2018; San Francisco.

Disclosures: Fisher reports serving as a consultant and investigator for Seqirus. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.