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May 1996

Who Needs an Immunization in a Pediatric Subspecialty Clinic?

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston. Dr Basco is now in the Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150(5):508-511. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1996.02170300062012

Background:  The Standards for Pediatric Immunization Practices recommends that subspecialty clinics screen children's immunization status and ensure the receipt of needed immunizations.

Objectives:  To determine the proportion of children presenting to a pediatric subspecialty clinic in whom immunization status can be assessed, and which of those assessed are due an immunization (eligible to receive an immunization on the day of clinic visit).

Design:  Standardized survey of 196 patients or accompanying children presenting to a pediatric cardiology clinic. Need for immunizations was determined by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendations.

Results:  The reason for visit included 58% return (enrolled in the clinic), 25% initial, and 17% accompanying another patient. Usual immunization provider in eluded 51% health department, 42% primary care physician, and 7% military. We could assess the immunization status of 79 (40%) of 196, and 19 (24%) of these 79 were due an immunization. Logistic regression analysis revealed that children enrolled in the clinic were more likely to be due for immunization than those presenting for initial visits (38% vs 8%; adjusted odds ratio, 7.42; 95% confidence interval, 1.43 to 38.55).

Conclusions:  We could not assess the immunization status of most children presenting to this pediatric clinic. Patients enrolled in the clinic were at increased risk for being due immunization. Having a primary care physician as a provider of immunizations did not ensure the receipt of immunizations. Pediatric subspecialists should assess the immunization status of their patients and make sure that they receive needed immunizations.(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150:508-511)