Meeting News Coverage

Knowledge gaps remain; physicians still need information on influenza vaccine

Providers report that information on live-attenuated influenza vaccine seems to be most lacking.

WASHINGTON — Public health officials should target both pediatric and adult health care providers to promote education efforts of influenza vaccine, according to a new study from Michigan presented here.

To better understand influenza vaccine planning and information needs among primary care providers, Sarah Clark, MPH, associate research scientist, University of Michigan, and colleagues conducted a mailed survey of a national random sample of 1,500 family physicians, 1,500 general internists and 1,500 pediatricians in an office-based primary care setting. The results were presented during the 45th Annual National Immunization Conference this week.

The researchers found that these providers have significant information needs related to influenza vaccine, and the lack of education is particularly pronounced when it comes to live-attenuated influenza vaccine (FluMist, MedImmune).

“There is uncertainly of when the vaccine will arrive, if enough will arrive, and what about the [Vaccines for Children’s Fund] and private supplies. And then there was H1N1. There’s always something with flu vaccine,” Clark said during her presentation.

Although 99% of respondents (70% response rate) said injectable influenza vaccine would be available in their practice for the 2010-2011 influenza season, the expected availability of LAIV was highly variable across specialty (45% family physicians, 24% general internists, 90% pediatricians), according to Clark. At least 20% of respondents reported a high priority need for additional guidance for all influenza vaccine-related topics listed. However, the most requested area of educational guidance was for prioritization of subpopulations if vaccine supply is limited (56%) and usage of the higher dose vaccine for the elderly (49%, family physicians and general internists only).

Additional topics about which physicians need more education, according to the survey results, include the number of doses needed for children (32%), the optimal timing for vaccination of pregnant women (25%), staff education on LAIV administration (23%), and when to use LAIV vs. injectable vaccine (20%), Clark said.

“LAIV is just a little too new and little too uncomfortable to many practices,” she said.

This study was partially supported by Association for Prevention Teaching and Research ATPR.

Disclosure: Dr. Clark reports no relevant financial disclosures.

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WASHINGTON — Public health officials should target both pediatric and adult health care providers to promote education efforts of influenza vaccine, according to a new study from Michigan presented here.

To better understand influenza vaccine planning and information needs among primary care providers, Sarah Clark, MPH, associate research scientist, University of Michigan, and colleagues conducted a mailed survey of a national random sample of 1,500 family physicians, 1,500 general internists and 1,500 pediatricians in an office-based primary care setting. The results were presented during the 45th Annual National Immunization Conference this week.

The researchers found that these providers have significant information needs related to influenza vaccine, and the lack of education is particularly pronounced when it comes to live-attenuated influenza vaccine (FluMist, MedImmune).

“There is uncertainly of when the vaccine will arrive, if enough will arrive, and what about the [Vaccines for Children’s Fund] and private supplies. And then there was H1N1. There’s always something with flu vaccine,” Clark said during her presentation.

Although 99% of respondents (70% response rate) said injectable influenza vaccine would be available in their practice for the 2010-2011 influenza season, the expected availability of LAIV was highly variable across specialty (45% family physicians, 24% general internists, 90% pediatricians), according to Clark. At least 20% of respondents reported a high priority need for additional guidance for all influenza vaccine-related topics listed. However, the most requested area of educational guidance was for prioritization of subpopulations if vaccine supply is limited (56%) and usage of the higher dose vaccine for the elderly (49%, family physicians and general internists only).

Additional topics about which physicians need more education, according to the survey results, include the number of doses needed for children (32%), the optimal timing for vaccination of pregnant women (25%), staff education on LAIV administration (23%), and when to use LAIV vs. injectable vaccine (20%), Clark said.

“LAIV is just a little too new and little too uncomfortable to many practices,” she said.

This study was partially supported by Association for Prevention Teaching and Research ATPR.

Disclosure: Dr. Clark reports no relevant financial disclosures.

For more information: For more information:

Twitter Follow the PediatricSuperSite.com on Twitter.

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