Vaccine Delivery Tip Sheet

Overcoming Barriers to Immunizing Adolescents and Young Adults


Reaching and vaccinating a large percent of adolescents and young adults can be a challenging task. Following are some tips to help immunizers increase vaccination rates in adolescents and young adults.

Provide multiple vaccines in a single visit. There is no contraindication to the simultaneous administration of any vaccines.1

Do not miss an opportunity to immunize adolescents and young adults. The CDC and many of the nation's top medical organizations recommend a routine healthcare visit at 11-12 years of age. However, many pre-teens never make this visit. That's why taking advantage of every opportunity to vaccinate all adolescents 11-18 years of age is essential.

TIP:
Assess immune status and vaccinate at all types of visits—well, sick, camp physical, sports physical, etc.

Recommend vaccines! Clinician and other healthcare provider recommendations matter and have an important impact on vaccination rates.2

TIP: Use provider reminders, like chart notes, to prompt you to recommend vaccines to your patients.3

Use reminder and recall tools to get patients into the office. While some reminder and recall tools are more effective than others, most have a significant positive impact on immunization rates.4

TIP:
Standing orders guidelines are regulated by the state. In some states, RNs, LPNs, and pharmacists can perform assessments and administer vaccines as outlined in standing orders. Learn the rules in your state and develop a protocol to allow appropriate healthcare professionals to administer indicated vaccines in adolescents and young adults.

Audit your vaccination efforts and provide powerful feedback to those who can affect change. Without periodic assessment, you can’t know how you’re doing.6

TIP: Figure out simple ways to audit your practice. How many vaccine doses did you order and how many are left? How many patients in your practice should be vaccinated? A quick calculation may tell you all you need to know. The CDC provides Clinical Assessment Software Application (CASA), which can be used to conduct practice-based vaccination assessment.

Updated 11/2012


References:

1 CDC. Epidemiology & Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases. 8th edition, 2nd printing, 2005.

2 adults. J Gen Intern Med 1996; 11:673-677.
3 CDC. Vaccine-preventable diseases: improving vaccination coverage in children, adolescents, and adults. A report of the Task Force

on Community Prevention Service. MMWR 1999; 48(RR-8):1-17.

4  CDC. Vaccine-preventable diseases: improving vaccination coverage in children, adolescents, and adults. A report of the Task Force on Community Prevention Services. MMWR 1999; 48(RR-8):1-17.

5  CDC. Use of standing orders programs to increase adult vaccination rates. MMWR 2000; 49(RR-1):15-29.

6  Prislin R, Sawyer MH, DeGuire M, et al. Missed opportunities to immunize: psychosocial and practice correlates. Am J Prev Med 2002; 22:165-169.