Background: Increase in vaccine-preventable disease in adolescents and the recent surge in the number of pediatric vaccinations leave many adolescents under vaccinated. Missed opportunities for vaccinations are more common in adolescents due to less frequent and irregular doctor visits. Lack of awareness by parents and missed opportunities by providers adds to the problem. Most families rely on their health care provider or school to alert them to the need for vaccinations and lack awareness of the recommendations. Teens are unlikely to see their physician unless they are sick or need a physical. When teens do visit their physician or pediatrician, barriers to the administration of vaccines keep teens from receiving vaccinations. Those barriers include a focus on: assessment and education for other issues (e.g., alcohol use, accident prevention); illness as reason for visit; administrative issues (e.g., inadequate medical records); lack knowledge of current recommendations; proper storage and administration techniques.
Setting: Setting: Partnership with School Nurses
Population: Primary focus – parents of adolescents
Project Description: The goal of the Missouri Adolescent Immunization Outreach Initiative was to increase compliance with current immunization schedule for adolescents by reaching out to parents. The campaign focus was to increase adolescent immunizations by 1) encouraging compliance with the recommended well-adolescent doctor visits, 2) raising awareness of recommended adolescent immunizations, and 3) promoting provider/parent discussion about immunizations. The campaign worked with schools as a primary location for reaching the target audience and disseminating campaign messages. A campaign flyer and website were developed.
Results/Lessons Learned: Parents believe adolescent immunizations are ‘very important’ and like to receive information about adolescent immunizations from their doctor and from the school nurse. Parents like to receive information in written form. Distributing a parent flyer about adolescent immunizations through school nurses is a viable strategy to increasing parent knowledge.