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To assess the effectiveness of a volunteer-driven outreach program on immunization rates in children younger than 2 years.
Randomized controlled trial.
Pediatric ambulatory clinics in New York, NY.
A total of 163 children were randomly assigned to receive services from the volunteer-driven outreach program or to serve as control subjects. All children were (1) younger than 2 years, (2) no-shows for a scheduled appointment in the pediatric clinic, and (3) due or overdue for a vaccine.
Immunization outreach, tracking, and follow-up were provided by community volunteers throughout follow-up (mean, 6.5 months). Control children were notified of immunization status at enrollment but received no further contact until the conclusion of follow-up (mean, 6.4 months).
Main Outcome Measure
Immunization status 6 months after enrollment.
Significantly more intervention children were up-to-date with their vaccination series than controls (75% vs 54%; P=.03). Children in the control group were 2.8 times more likely to be late for a vaccine than intervention children (odds ratio=2.8;P=.02). In addition, an immunization delay of longer than 30 days at enrollment was a significant predictor of final immunization delay (odds ratio=2.6;P=.02).
This volunteer-driven program significantly improved immunization rates among intervention children compared with controls. Results confirm previous findings that indicate an increased risk of an incomplete immunization series by 2 years of age among children who fall behind early in their primary vaccination series. However, control children were almost 3 times more likely to be late (for ≥1 vaccines) than intervention children, regardless of whether an earlier immunization delay was present.
Barnes K, Friedman SM, Namerow PB, Honig J. Impact of Community Volunteers on Immunization Rates of Children Younger Than 2 Years. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999;153(5):518–524. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archpedi.153.5.518
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