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Can J Public Health. 2012 Mar 21;103(7 Suppl 1):eS37-41.

Coverage for the entire population: tackling immunization rates and disparities in Saskatoon Health Region.

Author information

1
Public Health Observatory, Public HealthServices, Saskatoon Health Region, 101-310 Idylwyld Dr. N., Saskatoon, SK. jennifer.cushon@saskatoonhealthregion.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Our objective was to determine the effectiveness of an intervention, the Immunization Reminders Project, in terms of a) improving vaccination coverage rates for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) among 2-year-olds and b) ameliorating geographical disparities in early childhood immunization coverage.

TARGET POPULATION:

All 14-month-old and 20-month-old children in Saskatoon Health Region who were overdue for their immunizations.

SETTING:

Saskatoon Health Region (SHR).

INTERVENTION:

The intervention involved calling the parents/caregivers of the children in the target population with a reminder about immunizations. After five telephone calls and if the parent/caregiver could not be reached, a letter was mailed to the last known address. If there was no response to the letter, a reminder home visit was attempted for families residing in the low-income neighbourhoods in Saskatoon. Since January 2009, all reminders for families not residing in the low-income neighbourhoods in Saskatoon are made through mailed letters.

OUTCOMES:

After the introduction of the Immunization Reminders Project, coverage rates among 2-year-olds for MMR increased significantly overall and in most geographical areas examined. Disparities between geographical subgroups appeared to be declining, but not significantly.

CONCLUSION:

A universal approach to early childhood immunization can likely contribute to increases in coverage rates, but there is still room for improvement in SHR. These findings have prompted additional practice and policy changes.

KEYWORDS:

child; immunization; intervention studies

PMID:
23618048
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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