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J Public Health Manag Pract. 2007 May-Jun;13(3):307-13.

Assessing influenza vaccine utilization in physician offices serving adult patients: experience during a season of vaccine delays and shortages.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease (CDC/NCIRD), Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.



Influenza vaccination among US adults has plateaued at suboptimal levels. Severe delays and shortages of influenza vaccine prompted revised guidances to prioritize vaccine first to persons at greatest risk for serious influenza complications and to create vaccine stockpiles.


(1) Pilot an assessment of influenza vaccine use in a large sample of physician offices with adult patients. (2) Apply the method to assess vaccine receipt by age and risk groups.


Influenza vaccination and risk status for the 2000-2001 season were obtained from record review conducted in November 2001 to April 2002 for adult patients in a sample of physicians' offices in eight states. Participating physicians also completed a questionnaire.


The assessment method was feasible to implement. One hundred eighteen physicians participated. They administered more than 83 percent of doses to prioritized groups in October and November compared with 74 percent of doses during the entire season. Office-based vaccination coverage was less than 40 percent in all age and risk groups. More than 50 percent of participating physicians reported unused doses.


Office-based assessments of vaccine utilization can be a valuable evaluation tool. Vaccine distribution was consistent with recommendations to target early vaccination to priority groups. Results highlight the difficulty distributing vaccine late in the season and the need for strategies to improve vaccination coverage, particularly when vaccine supply is inadequate.

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