Awareness Is Not Enough: The Need to Increase Meningococcal Vaccine Uptake

1University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
Clinical Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 1.15). 03/2013; 52(5). DOI: 10.1177/0009922813481847
Source: PubMed


Adolescent meningococcal vaccine uptake remains low. We examined vaccine awareness among parents of adolescents and uptake.

Parents of adolescents aged 11 to 17 years (n = 1281) participated in a statewide survey. Logistic regression with weighted data provided population-based estimates.

In all, 65% had heard of meningococcal vaccine; parents more likely to report awareness had adolescents aged 16 to 17 years, in private school, or with health insurance. In total, 44% of aware parents reported vaccination; vaccinated teens were more likely to be black (odds ratio [OR] = 2.17), had a preventive checkup within 12 months (OR = 3.03), or resided with another child ≤18 years (OR = 1.83). Many parents of unvaccinated adolescents (38.5%) did not plan to vaccinate them within 12 months. The most common reasons for not vaccinating were providers not recommending it and believing adolescents did not need it.

Many parents aware of meningococcal vaccine did not vaccinate their adolescents. Interventions that include increasing provider recommendation and annual visits may increase uptake.

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    ABSTRACT: To provide a clinically relevant summary of the latest research and recommendations regarding childhood and adolescent immunizations. Childhood vaccination has dramatically reduced pediatric morbidity and mortality in the United States. Recent research on childhood and adolescent immunizations has focused on expanding the use of current vaccines for additional subpopulations as well as the development of new vaccines. In particular, data confirming the safety and immunogenicity of vaccines in various groups of children have shaped national guidelines. Furthermore, studies on vaccine uptake, cost-effectiveness, and impact of vaccination have reinforced the importance of adhering to these guidelines. More work needs to be done by providers and parents to increase vaccination coverage rates to better protect children and adolescents from these serious diseases. In this article, selected recent publications and recommendations on the following vaccines are reviewed: influenza, meningococcal conjugate, childhood and adolescent/adult formulations of diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis, pneumococcal conjugate, and human papillomavirus. Research on childhood and adolescent vaccinations continues to shape future guidelines. Through this work, we can learn how to optimize the protection of all children and adolescents against vaccine-preventable diseases.
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