Meeting News Coverage

Public health officials can do more to streamline influenza vaccine delivery in community settings

WASHINGTON — The optimal delivery of influenza vaccine in community settings is made less efficient by obstacles found in purchase and distribution, logistics and reimbursement, according to a presentation made during the 45th Annual National Immunization Conference held here.

Between January 2009 and June 2010, researchers conducted qualitative interviews with various stakeholders (n=65) involved in the vaccination process, including health insurers, medical service firms, retail-based clinics, pharmacies, schools, and state and local public health immunization programs. The researchers sought to determine key barriers to the optimal delivery of vaccines, now that recommendations for universal influenza vaccination have expanded to include more than 300 million children and adults annually.

Grace Lee, MD, MPH
Grace Lee

Barriers to the purchase and distribution of influenza vaccines in community settings included limited purchasing power, not being able to accurately gauge public demand and the unpredictable timing of the supply.

Community vaccinators noted logistical obstacles such as the need to manage publicly and privately purchased vaccines separately and lack of consistent requirements by states for credentialing, physician oversight and reporting.

Barriers to reimbursement by health plans included limited willingness to contract, the need to confirm insurance eligibility at point-of-service and a lack of billing infrastructures at offsite clinics.

Vaccination processes in community settings could be streamlined with the help of public health officials acting as “trusted brokers,” according to presenter Grace Lee, MD, MPH, assistant professor of population medicine and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

“Public health partners at the federal, state and local levels are well-positioned to facilitate the engagement of all stakeholders to overcome barriers to influenza vaccine delivery. In addition, public-private partnerships can augment our ability to vaccinate children and adults in community settings,” Lee told Infectious Diseases in Children. — Whitney McKnight

Disclosures: Dr. Lee reported no relevant financial disclosures.

For more information:

  • Lee G. #25513. Presented at: The 45th Annual National Immunization Conference; March 28-31, 2011; Washington, D.C.

Twitter Follow the PediatricSuperSite.com on Twitter.

WASHINGTON — The optimal delivery of influenza vaccine in community settings is made less efficient by obstacles found in purchase and distribution, logistics and reimbursement, according to a presentation made during the 45th Annual National Immunization Conference held here.

Between January 2009 and June 2010, researchers conducted qualitative interviews with various stakeholders (n=65) involved in the vaccination process, including health insurers, medical service firms, retail-based clinics, pharmacies, schools, and state and local public health immunization programs. The researchers sought to determine key barriers to the optimal delivery of vaccines, now that recommendations for universal influenza vaccination have expanded to include more than 300 million children and adults annually.

Grace Lee, MD, MPH
Grace Lee

Barriers to the purchase and distribution of influenza vaccines in community settings included limited purchasing power, not being able to accurately gauge public demand and the unpredictable timing of the supply.

Community vaccinators noted logistical obstacles such as the need to manage publicly and privately purchased vaccines separately and lack of consistent requirements by states for credentialing, physician oversight and reporting.

Barriers to reimbursement by health plans included limited willingness to contract, the need to confirm insurance eligibility at point-of-service and a lack of billing infrastructures at offsite clinics.

Vaccination processes in community settings could be streamlined with the help of public health officials acting as “trusted brokers,” according to presenter Grace Lee, MD, MPH, assistant professor of population medicine and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

“Public health partners at the federal, state and local levels are well-positioned to facilitate the engagement of all stakeholders to overcome barriers to influenza vaccine delivery. In addition, public-private partnerships can augment our ability to vaccinate children and adults in community settings,” Lee told Infectious Diseases in Children. — Whitney McKnight

Disclosures: Dr. Lee reported no relevant financial disclosures.

For more information:

  • Lee G. #25513. Presented at: The 45th Annual National Immunization Conference; March 28-31, 2011; Washington, D.C.

Twitter Follow the PediatricSuperSite.com on Twitter.

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