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Prev Med. 2008 Aug;47(2):225-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.05.008. Epub 2008 May 20.

A qualitative study of physicians' experiences ordering and receiving influenza vaccine during the 2005-2006 influenza season.

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  • 1Colorado Health Outcomes Program, University of Colorado Denver, Colorado 80045, USA.



The purpose of this qualitative analysis is to identify problems general internists and pediatricians encountered when ordering and receiving influenza vaccine during the 2005-2006 influenza season.


A U.S. national network of general internists and pediatricians was surveyed via the internet in November 2005. A content analysis was conducted of responses to an open-ended invitation to comment on problems encountered ordering and receiving influenza vaccine.


Survey response rates were 51% (156/308) for general internists and 64% (180/283) for pediatricians. A total of 53 general internists and 102 pediatricians provided comments. Four general themes emerged: barriers to obtaining influenza vaccine, the impact of shortages and delays on practices, issues contributing to the problems practices experienced, and physicians' overall perceptions of influenza vaccine delivery in the U.S. Within these themes, notable domains included the perceived lack of communication between distributors and practices and physicians' frustration with vaccine availability at non-medical facilities.


Our findings indicate that physicians perceived a number of problems with the influenza vaccine distribution/supply system and have concerns about their ability to vaccinate their patients. These findings are useful in directing further quantitative assessments about the extent and nature of perceived problems with vaccine supply and distribution.

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