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Timely reminders boost childhood immunizations rates
Date:1/7/2013

AURORA, Colo. (Jan. 7, 2013) New research from the Children's Outcomes Research Program at Children's Hospital Colorado shows that timely reminders by state or local health departments are more effective at increasing immunization rates among preschool children than those from primary care practices.

The study, published December 13 in the American Journal of Public Health, underscores the importance of partnerships between state and county health departments and primary care practices to keep children up-to-date on recommended vaccines.

"Immunizations provide us with the opportunity to prevent most of the diseases that killed so many children in the past. But the job of making sure all children receive immunizations in a timely manner is complicated and requires systems to identify who is not up-to-date and to generate reminder letters, postcards or telephone messages," said Allison Kempe, MD, MPH, director of Children's Outcomes Research at Children's Hospital Colorado and primary author of the study. "Many primary care providers don't have such systems in place and don't have the time or staff to conduct recall for immunizations at their practices. Our study shows that practices and public health departments working together will be much more successful in recalling children who need vaccinations."

One of the nation's health goals, as outlined in Healthy People 2020, is to increase by 80 percent the proportion of children aged 19 to 35 months who receive all recommended vaccines. In 2009, just 44.3 percent of those children received all recommended vaccines.

"Vaccination is recognized as one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century, reducing the incidences of many common and fatal diseases by up to 99 percent," Kempe said. "Timely immunization is vital for keeping kids healthy and reducing unnecessary costs for Colorado."

Kempe said reminding parents about upcoming vaccines or r
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Contact: David Kelly
david.kelly@ucdenver.edu
303-315-6374
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert

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