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Health care providers play a critical role in increasing vaccination rates in adults. Research demonstrates that a provider recommendation is the strongest predictor of adults getting vaccinated. In a study of pregnant women, the rate of vaccination against influenza was 70.5% among patients that received a provider recommendation and offer of vaccination.1 Without a recommendation or offer from the health care provider, influenza vaccine uptake in this population was only 16.1%.

Providers have the dual role of ensuring that they themselves as well as their patients are up to date on their vaccinations. Healthy People 2020 recommends 90% vaccination of health care personnel against influenza.2 Currently, 84 % of health care personnel were vaccinated in the 2014-15 influenza season.3

Lack of knowledge by the provider and patients about the need for vaccinating both healthy and high-risk adults is a barrier to increasing adult vaccination rates. In addition, management of current illnesses by providers usually receives priority over preventive services like vaccination. Some providers do not offer vaccines and others only offer some of the vaccines recommended for adults.

The Standards for Adult Immunization Practice state that all providers should play a role in vaccinating adults. This can be achieved by providers incorporating immunization assessment in each clinical encounter, recommending vaccines to patients as needed, and either providing the vaccine or referring the patient to another provider to receive the vaccine.4 The standards also encourage providers to be up-to-date on their own vaccinations.5
Immunization Programs play a major role in educating providers regarding the need to assess adult patients’ vaccination status and to recommend the appropriate vaccines based on age group, risk status, and job type, as well as encouraging providers themselves be vaccinated.



OREGON: Pneumococcal vaccine scheduling guide for providers

The Oregon immunization program developed a one-page guide to summarize the current national recommendations for pneumococcal vaccines.


RHODE ISLAND: Health care worker flu vaccination law

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), in conjunction with its Flu Task Force, modified regulations pertaining to health care worker (HCW) immunization requirements to require annual flu vaccination.

  NEW HAMPSHIRE: Adult immunization outreach campaign with provider toolkit

The New Hampshire Immunization Program (NHIP) developed an adult immunization awareness campaign to promote conversations between health care providers and their adult patients about the importance of being vaccinated.

1 “Health care provider Slide Set-Standards for Adult Immunization Practice.” National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit, 2015. Web.
2 “Immunization and Infectious Disease Objectives.” Healthy People 2020. US Department of Health and Human Services, 2014. Web.
3 Black CL, Yue X, Ball SW, et al. “Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Health Care Personnel — United States, 2014–15 Influenza Season.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 64.36 (2015) 993-999. Print.
4-5 “Recommendations from the National Vaccine Advisory Committee: Standards for Adult Immunization Practice.” Public Health Reports 129 (2014): 115-124. Print.
6 2015 AIM Annual Survey, 63 of 64 state/city/territorial Immunization Programs completed the survey that was administered online April - June 2015.


Chapter 2 Resources

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Standards for Adult Immunization Practice Link  more ] Administration 9/30/2016
Prevention and Public Health Funds for Adults Link  more ] Administration 9/30/2016
CDC AdultVaxView Link  more ] Administration 4/5/2017
AIM Survey Data: Site Visits to Adult IZ Providers PDF (487.49 KB)  more ] Administration 9/30/2016
IAC Take A Stand-Using Standing Orders for Adults PDF (86.71 KB)  more ] Administration 9/30/2016
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