Study shows school-based health centers boost vaccination rates

May 7, 2012, University of Colorado Denver

New research from the University of Colorado School of Medicine shows that school-based health centers are highly effective in delivering comprehensive care, especially vaccines to adolescents.

The study, published today in the journal Pediatrics, highlights the value of a `captive audience' in a school setting where students can be easily reminded to get recommended vaccinations.

"School-based can provide comprehensive care to children and who are hard to reach," said CU School of Medicine professor of pediatrics Allison Kempe, MD, MPH, and lead author of the study. "I think it's a very important model especially in underserved and low income areas. School-based health centers are not prevalent across the United States but I think they should be."

Kempe, director of the Children's Outcomes Research Program at Children's Hospital Colorado, said the scope of immunizations for adolescents has expanded markedly over the last few years, prompting discussions about a platform of for this population similar to those given to infants.

Immunizations recommended for adolescents include the meningococcal conjugate vaccine; tetanus-diptheria-acellular pertussis vaccine and the (HPV) vaccine.

"While new vaccines targeted for adolescents certainly hold great promise, they also face certain challenges," Kempe said. "Adolescents are an age group that is less likely to access and only 9 percent of all health care visits by adolescents are for ."

And then there are issues of parental consent, lack of health insurance, missed chances for vaccinations during routine doctor visits and scattering of among multiple providers.

Kempe and her fellow researchers, funded by the Centers for Disease Control, studied vaccination outcomes among sixth graders at four school-based health centers at Denver area schools.

They did a demonstration study of 265 females needing at least one vaccine. All of them received reminders to get their immunizations. Researchers did a second study that was a randomized controlled trial of 264 males needing vaccines. In that study, half of the males received reminders, calls or notes to get immunizations and half received their usual care.

After six months, 77 percent of females had received at least one vaccine and 45 percent got all the necessary immunizations. The randomized controlled trial of males found that 66 percent of those getting reminders had received at least one vaccine and 59 percent had obtained all study vaccines compared to 45 percent and 36 percent respectively in the control group.

"These data reinforce the notion that school-based health centers are very valuable in providing health care to kids who are uninsured, come from poor backgrounds or are adolescents," said Kempe. "Our study shows how well these kinds of reminders work in school. They are effective, easy and cheap."

Explore further: Results on national study of parental concerns about childhood vaccines announced

Related Stories

Results on national study of parental concerns about childhood vaccines announced

April 18, 2011
A new study led by Allison Kempe, MD, MPH, professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and director of the Children's Outcomes Research (COR) Program at The Children's Hospital, reports the results ...

Study: More pre-teens get vaccines when middle schools require them

May 7, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Pre-teens living in states that require vaccinations for incoming middle school students are more likely to be immunized than those in states without such requirements, a new study finds.

Flu vaccination reminder via text messaging improves rate of vaccination among low-income children

April 24, 2012
A text messaging intervention with education-related messages sent to parents increased influenza vaccination coverage compared with usual care in a traditionally hard-to-reach, low-income, urban, minority population of children ...

Recommended for you

Baby brains help infants figure it out before they try it out

January 17, 2018
Babies often amaze their parents when they seemingly learn new skills overnight—how to walk, for example. But their brains were probably prepping for those tasks long before their first steps occurred, according to researchers.

NeuroNext biomarker study explores natural history of infantile-onset SMA

January 9, 2018
Research led by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to define the natural history of infantile-onset spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) has been "critical" to accelerate the development of effective therapies and hasten ...

No link between childhood lead levels, later criminality

December 27, 2017
(HealthDay)— Exposure to higher levels of lead during early childhood can affect neurological development—but does that mean affected kids are doomed to delinquency?

Early puberty in girls may take mental health toll

December 26, 2017
(HealthDay)—A girl who gets her first menstrual period early in life—possibly as young as 7—has a greater risk for developing depression and antisocial behaviors that last at least into her 20s, a new study suggests.

Technology not taking over children's lives despite screen-time increase

December 21, 2017
With children spending increasing amounts of time on screen-based devices, there is a common perception that technology is taking over their lives, to the detriment and exclusion of other activities. However, new Oxford University ...

Higher blood sugar in early pregnancy raises baby's heart-defect risk

December 15, 2017
Higher blood sugar early in pregnancy raises the baby's risk of a congenital heart defect, even among mothers who do not have diabetes, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.