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Am J Prev Med. 2010 Jul;39(1):69-73. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2010.03.010.

Late-season influenza vaccination: a national survey of physician practice and barriers.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado, USA.



Although late-season influenza vaccination has been recently promoted, existing data suggest it occurs infrequently.


This study aims to describe among primary care physicians: (1) late-season vaccination practices; (2) perceived barriers; and (3) factors associated with late-season influenza vaccination in a year when vaccine supplies are inadequate or delayed.


A survey administered March 2007-June 2007 to 1268 primary care providers in a national survey network. Data analysis was completed in 2009.


Overall response rate was 74% (n=940). Seventy-one percent of respondents reported vaccinating until February/March when there were adequate vaccine supplies and 84% reported vaccinating until February/March when vaccine supplies were inadequate or delayed. Perceived barriers to late-season vaccination included difficulty administering a second dose in children if the first was given late in the season (91% of respondents); providers/patients forgetting about vaccination (77%); and concern about having unused vaccine left at the end of a season (74%). Physicians who reported vaccinating into February/March when vaccine supplies were inadequate or delayed more often reported believing late-season vaccination is clinically beneficial, experiencing difficulty persuading patients to accept late-season vaccination, forgetting about the need for vaccination, not being able to meet demand for influenza vaccine and experiencing high patient volumes during winter months.


Most physicians appear willing to perform late-season vaccination despite existing data demonstrating that it occurs infrequently. Efforts to increase late-season vaccination should address vaccine supply issues, late-season influenza vaccine reminders, and patient and provider education on its clinical benefits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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