Contact and Communication with Healthcare Providers Regarding Influenza Vaccination During the 2009-2010 H1N1 Pandemic

Published in: Preventive Medicine, v. 52, no. 6, June 2011, p. 459-464

Posted on RAND.org on May 31, 2011

by Jürgen Maurer, Katherine M. Harris

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OBJECTIVE: The existence of two vaccines - seasonal and pandemic - created the potential for confusion and misinformation among consumers during the 2009-2010 vaccination season. We measured the frequency and nature of influenza vaccination communication between healthcare providers and adults for both seasonal and 2009 influenza A(H1N1) vaccination and quantified its association with uptake of the two vaccines. METHODS: We analyzed data from 4,040 U.S. adult members of a nationally representative online panel surveyed between March 4th and March 24th, 2010. We estimated prevalence rates and adjusted associations between vaccine uptake and vaccination-related communication between patients and healthcare providers using bivariate probit models. RESULTS: 64.1% (95%-CI: 61.5%-66.6%) of adults did not receive any provider-issued influenza vaccination recommendation. Adults who received a provider-issued vaccination recommendation were 14.1 (95%-CI: -2.4-30.6) to 32.1 (95%-CI: 24.3-39.8) percentage points more likely to be vaccinated for influenza than adults without a provider recommendation, after adjusting for other characteristics associated with vaccination. CONCLUSIONS: Influenza vaccination communication between healthcare providers and adults was relatively uncommon during the 2009-2010 pandemic. Increased communication could significantly enhance influenza vaccination rates.

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