Whooping Cough On the Rise: How to Improve Caregiver Booster Immunization Rates?

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Whooping cough has increased dramatically over the past five years, putting infants at risk of serious illness or death. Most are infected by a caregiver who has not received a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) booster, so caregiver immunization is key to reversing this trend.

Since many caregivers go unvaccinated, new strategies are needed to convince those living with infants to get the Tdap booster. To address this care gap, a team of researchers lead by Alison Buttenheim PhD, MBA, an Assistant Professor of Nursing and an Assistant Professor of Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, evaluated the feasibility and impact of different interventions aimed at increasing the number of vaccinated caregivers.

The results of their study, set for publication in the February 2016 issue of Vaccine, concluded that despite leveraging existing vaccination services at retail pharmacies, vaccine vouchers and celebrity video promotion delivered during a newborn visit were not an effective strategy for increasing Tdap vaccination. “We continue to look for alternate approaches that prioritize convenience and provide an immediate opportunity to vaccinate when the motivation to do so is high,” added Buttenheim

.http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-02/uops-wcb020316.php