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Compliance with multiple-dose vaccine schedules among older children, adolescents, and adults: results from a vaccine safety datalink study

OBJECTIVES: We studied compliance with multiple-dose vaccine schedules, assessed factors associated with noncompliance, and examined timeliness of series completion among older children, adolescents, and adults. METHODS: We conducted a large, multisite, retrospective cohort study of older children, adolescents, and adults in the Vaccine Safety Datalink population from 1996 through 2004. We quantified the rates of completion of all required doses for varicella, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B vaccines according to their recommended schedules. RESULTS: Among those who received a first dose of varicella (n = 16 075), hepatitis A (n = 594 917), and hepatitis B (n = 590 445) vaccine, relatively few completed the series (55%-65% for hepatitis B vaccine and 40%-50% for hepatitis A and varicella vaccines in most age groups). Compliance was lowest among adolescents (35.9%) and Medicaid recipients (29.7%) who received varicella vaccine and among younger adult age groups who received hepatitis A vaccine (25%-35% across those age groups). Even among series completers, there was a relatively long interval of undervaccination between the first and last doses. CONCLUSIONS: Compliance with multiple-dose vaccine series among older children, adolescents, and adults is suboptimal. Further evaluations of strategies to improve compliance in these populations are needed.

Authors: Nelson JC; Klein NP; Jackson LA; et al.

Am J Public Health. 2009 Oct;99 Suppl 2:S389-97.

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