Thesis: Evaluation of the impact of access to free influenza vaccine on immunization rates for children with cystic fibrosis
By Jones, Katie, M.P.H., THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH, 2012, 47 pages; 1511823
Children with cystic fibrosis are at increased risk of seasonal influenza associated complications, which makes them a judicious target of interventions designed to increase influenza vaccination rates. The Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis (BCM/TCH CF) Care Center implemented an enhanced multi-component initiative designed to increase influenza vaccination rates in its patient population during the 2011-2012 influenza season. We evaluated the impact of specific components of this intervention on vaccination rates among the clinic’s patient population via a historical medical chart review and examined the relationship between vaccination status and the number of pulmonary exacerbations requiring hospital admission during the influenza season. The multi-component intervention was comprised of providing influenza free of charge in the CF Care Center, reminders via phone call and letters, and drive through influenza vaccine clinics on nights and weekends. The intervention to increase influenza vaccination rates led to overall improved vaccination rates among the patients at the BCM/TCH CF Care Center, increasing from 90% adherence observed during the 2010-2011 season to 94% adherence during the 2011-2012 season. The availability of free influenza vaccine in the CF Care Center, combined with reminders about being vaccinated early in the season proved to be the most effective practices for improving the vaccination rate in the CF Care Center.