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 Childrens
Fund] and private supplies. And then there was H1N1. Theres 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
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
For more information: For