Keeping Vaccination Records Linked to Greater Compliance

Children with patient-held vaccination records were more likely to be up-to-date on their shots
By Eric Metcalf
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- When parents had children's vaccination records available, children were more likely to be up-to-date on their vaccinations, according to research published online Feb. 15 in Pediatrics.

James T. McElligott, M.D., and Paul M. Darden, M.D., of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, analyzed 2004 to 2006 data from the National Immunization Survey on children aged 19 to 35 months. Children's up-to-date status on a variety of vaccines was assessed from the vaccine providers' records.

The researchers found that nearly 81 percent of children were up-to-date, but most respondents didn't have their child's vaccination record available (59.2 percent). Children with vaccination records were significantly more likely to be up-to-date on their vaccinations (83.9 versus 78.6 percent). A larger effect was seen in groups at higher risk of underimmunization, including those with multiple children in the home, low maternal education, and multiple providers.

"The patient-held vaccination record is a simple tool that significantly prevents underimmunization," the authors conclude. "Use of this easily implemented tool provides an additional level of communication between families and providers, as well as between providers. The immunization record should be incorporated as a routine part of the preventative care that is delivered by individual practices."

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