Source: Infection Control Today
Research suggests that healthcare providers are missing out on opportunities to increase vaccination coverage among teenagers. A study reported in the Journal of Adolescent Health pointed out that many parents may be unaware of recommendations for routine vaccination of meningococcal (MCV), tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap), and human papillomavirus (HPV) in adolescents. The researchers analyzed vaccination rates for 1,628 adolescents aged 11-18 who had a total of 9,180 visits to healthcare providers between 2006 and 2011. In that time frame, 82 percent of subjects missed being vaccinated against MCV, 85 percent missed Tdap, and 82 percent missed the first dose of HPV. Parents are more likely to have their kids vaccinated if they know that their adolescent should receive these three vaccines around age 11 or 12. Missed opportunities may occur because healthcare providers may have questions about the recommended schedule, or are uncertain about the patient’s vaccine eligibility. The researchers suggested the use of improved vaccine tracking and screening systems, such as with electronic health records, to better identify teenagers eligible for vaccines.