Meeting News Coverage

Pilot project improved adolescent immunization rates

WASHINGTON — A pilot project in North Carolina among 18 health centers increased adolescent immunization coverage rates by 26% in 1 month, according to data presented here this week.

The project was designed to increase age-appropriate immunization rates for the tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis vaccine, meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menactra, Sanofi-Pasteur) and human papillomavirus vaccine and was conducted through federally qualified health centers. In North Carolina, the average coverage rates for the three vaccines recommended for adolescents was 73.8% compared with the national average of 76%.

“Even at best, we are abysmal in North Carolina at giving the meningococcal conjugate vaccine,” Marti Wolf, RN, MPH, said during a presentation at the 45th Annual National Immunization Conference.

The North Carolina Community Health Center Association set up a competition among 18 community health centers that volunteered to compete during an April 2010 event, which corresponded with the state’s Adolescent Immunization Month.

Eighteen sites competed; one site was a pediatric practice and the others were primary care/family practice sites. The total adolescent population served by these clinics totaled 7,971. Initial immunization coverage rates ranged from 18% to 38% for HPV, 42% to 90% for Tdap, and 5% to 86% for MCV4.

“The data shows that most anyone who tried did make an improvement,” Wolf said.

Throughout the monthlong competition to raise adolescent immunization rates, the sites worked together to administer targeted immunizations to their adolescent population. Various tools, including AFIX sessions — provided by the North Carolina Immunization Program — recall tools, immunization toolkits and weekly email contact, were made available. On May 1, repeat immunization reports were compiled by the North Carolina Immunization Registry (NCIR) and compared with the baseline immunization data compiled from the NCIR.

“One of the things we found is that people are using our registry for babies, but people were not thinking about it once the children were past 2 or 3 years old. Nobody was using it much for the adolescents, and they are not using it at all for the adults,” Wolf said. “The lesson learned is that recall works. Letters to the parents work. They actually open them and read them”

Wolf said last year’s event went so well that the competition this year will take place in May.

“The end result was that we sneaked in quality improvement and had some fun,” she said.

For more information:

Disclosure: This project was partially supported by Sanofi-Pasteur.

Twitter Follow the PediatricSuperSite.com on Twitter.

WASHINGTON — A pilot project in North Carolina among 18 health centers increased adolescent immunization coverage rates by 26% in 1 month, according to data presented here this week.

The project was designed to increase age-appropriate immunization rates for the tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis vaccine, meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menactra, Sanofi-Pasteur) and human papillomavirus vaccine and was conducted through federally qualified health centers. In North Carolina, the average coverage rates for the three vaccines recommended for adolescents was 73.8% compared with the national average of 76%.

“Even at best, we are abysmal in North Carolina at giving the meningococcal conjugate vaccine,” Marti Wolf, RN, MPH, said during a presentation at the 45th Annual National Immunization Conference.

The North Carolina Community Health Center Association set up a competition among 18 community health centers that volunteered to compete during an April 2010 event, which corresponded with the state’s Adolescent Immunization Month.

Eighteen sites competed; one site was a pediatric practice and the others were primary care/family practice sites. The total adolescent population served by these clinics totaled 7,971. Initial immunization coverage rates ranged from 18% to 38% for HPV, 42% to 90% for Tdap, and 5% to 86% for MCV4.

“The data shows that most anyone who tried did make an improvement,” Wolf said.

Throughout the monthlong competition to raise adolescent immunization rates, the sites worked together to administer targeted immunizations to their adolescent population. Various tools, including AFIX sessions — provided by the North Carolina Immunization Program — recall tools, immunization toolkits and weekly email contact, were made available. On May 1, repeat immunization reports were compiled by the North Carolina Immunization Registry (NCIR) and compared with the baseline immunization data compiled from the NCIR.

“One of the things we found is that people are using our registry for babies, but people were not thinking about it once the children were past 2 or 3 years old. Nobody was using it much for the adolescents, and they are not using it at all for the adults,” Wolf said. “The lesson learned is that recall works. Letters to the parents work. They actually open them and read them”

Wolf said last year’s event went so well that the competition this year will take place in May.

“The end result was that we sneaked in quality improvement and had some fun,” she said.

For more information:

Disclosure: This project was partially supported by Sanofi-Pasteur.

Twitter Follow the PediatricSuperSite.com on Twitter.

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