Improving influenza vaccination rates of high-risk inner-city children over 2 intervention years

Richard K. Zimmerman, Alejandro Hoberman, Mary Patricia Nowalk, Chyongchiou J. Lin, David P. Greenberg, Stuart T. Weinberg, Shou Ko Feng, Dwight E. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Influenza immunization rates among children with high-risk medical conditions are disappointingly low, and relatively few data are available on raising rates, particularly over 2 years. We wanted to determine whether interventions tailored to individual practice sites improve influenza immunization rates among high-risk children in inner-city health centers over 2 years. METHOD: A before-after trial to improve influenza immunization of children was conducted at 5 inner-city health centers (residencies and faith-based). Sites selected interventions from a menu (eg, standing orders, patient and clinician reminders, education) proved to increase vaccination rates, which were directed at children aged 2 to 17 years with high-risk medical conditions. Intervention influenza vaccination rates and 1 and 2 years were compared with those of the preintervention year (2001-2002) and of a comparison site. RESULTS: Influenza vaccination rates improved modestly from baseline (10.4%) to 13.1% during intervention year 1 and to 18.7% during intervention year 2 (P <.001), with rates reaching 31% in faith-based practices. Rates increased in all racial and age-groups and in Medicaid-insured children. The increase in rates was significantly greater in intervention health centers (8.3%) than in the comparison health center (0.7%; P <.001). In regression analyses that controlled for demographic factors, vaccination status was associated with intervention year 1 (odds ratio [OR], 1.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.6-2.2) and with intervention year 2 (OR, 2.8; 95% CI, 2.3-3.4), as well as with practice type. Adolescents had lower vaccination rates than children 2 to 6 years old (OR, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.5-0.7). CONCLUSIONS: Tailored interventions selected from a menu of interventions modestly increased influenza vaccination rates over 2 years at health centers serving children from low-income families. We recommend this strategy for faith-based practices and residencies with 1 practice site, but further research is needed on multisite practices and to achieve higher influenza vaccination rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-540
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Family Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Health services research
  • Immunizations/in infancy and childhood
  • Infectious diseases
  • Influenza vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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