Vaccination visits in early childhood: just one more visit to be fully vaccinated.


Vaccination coverage surveys - Publication abstract: BACKGROUND: This study characterizes the healthcare visits at which children receive vaccinations, including the number of these visits and the number of vaccinations that are administered. METHODS: The 1999 National Immunization Survey (NIS) is a nationally representative sample of children aged 19 to 35 months, verified by provider records, that is conducted to obtain estimates of vaccination coverage rates. We describe the number of healthcare visits in which one or more vaccinations were given, the number of vaccinations given at these visits, and the number of visits and vaccinations needed for an underimmunized child to complete the recommended vaccination series. RESULTS: Of the children who did not receive all doses of the recommended vaccinations (4:3:1:3:3 vaccination series), three fourths had four or more immunization visits. Vaccination coverage increased as the number of visits increased, and children who had completed the series were more likely to receive multiple vaccinations than those who had not. Most children (70.7%) received a maximum of four vaccinations in any immunization visit. The majority of children (73.5%) who had not completed the 4:3:1:3:3 vaccination series needed only a single visit to complete the series. The majority (61.7%) of children who needed only one visit also needed only one additional vaccination. CONCLUSIONS: While estimated national coverage for all recommended vaccinations is considerably below the Healthy People 2000 and Healthy People 2010 goal of 90%, achieving this goal is in essence just one visit away. If all children who needed one more visit were to receive that final visit, the national coverage among children 19 to 35 months for all recommended vaccinations would be 93%.