Keeping vaccine records up to date is key to a patient’s lifelong immunity and health. Official childhood vaccination records have been adopted by every state and territory to encourage uniformity, but limited interoperability in healthcare can make recordkeeping a challenge. As a result, responsibility falls on both the patients and providers for managing records throughout the patient’s life.
More than 60 million Americans live in rural areas. Rural residents receive less or inferior healthcare compared to those in other parts of the U.S., including medical check-ups and the opportunity for recommended vaccinations. The National Rural Health Association reports that provider shortages in rural areas are obstacles to regular primary care, and for children in rural areas, limited access to healthcare can also affect immunization.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has published guidelines on recommended immunization schedules by age group, but for many Americans, additional information from a provider can help deepen understanding. Through established patient-provider relationships and medical knowledge, clinicians are in a unique position to educate patients about health decisions, including vaccinations, and research shows that patients value the advice.
There are credible, scientifically-backed resources that providers and patients alike can use to be informed and protected. We rounded up some of the best online resources to help providers and patients with all kinds of vaccine-related issues and questions.
HHS reports that an estimated 850,000 to 2.2 million people are living with HBV nationwide. With HBV vaccines available, clinicians and healthcare advocates can play a role in helping increase immunization rates and curb the spread of hepatitis B.
Vulnerable populations—children, seniors and homeless—are at higher risk of contracting many preventable diseases. With immunity developing, declining, or at risk, these groups are more likely to suffer from illnesses that can be prevented with vaccines. Health providers and vaccine advocates can help protect vulnerable populations by promoting vaccines to all populations and delivering vaccines to those who need it most.
During pregnancy, there are many preparations that expectant mothers may make before welcoming a newborn: purchasing a stroller, preparing a nursery, buying clothes, diapers, wipes and many other items. Another way expectant mothers can prepare, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is vaccinating themselves against diseases, namely influenza and pertussis.
In the past few months, San Diego has seen a spike in the number of hepatitis A cases; the San Diego County Board of Supervisors puts the latest count at 516 cases, including 357 hospitalizations and 19 deaths. Vaccines, in fulfilling their original purpose, are preventative health tools meant to impede the potential for outbreaks of disease. Yet, outbreaks do occasionally occur and expose a large number of uninfected individuals who may not be immunized against diseases that are normally vaccine-preventable.
A number of recent articles and studies have looked at effective approaches for keeping patients on track with their immunizations and increasing overall uptake. In addition to being effective strategies, they are also feasible for providers to deploy.
In recent years, the phrase “population health” has become an industry buzzword. It’s a concept that involves redefining care delivery to focus on prevention, leading to better health outcomes for specific groups of people. Simply put, it means keeping people healthy.
How can your state become healthier in a hurry? Vaccinate. In the United Health Foundation’s latest America’s Health Rankings, two states, Maine and North Carolina, vaulted up 5 spots and 6 spots, respectively, in a large part due to the success of improving immunization rates in their states.
In recent years, the anti-vaccine movement has increased in the United States. Despite the medical community’s overwhelming pro-vaccine stance, a small, but vocal group of parents have used sensational stories, questionable studies, and fervent beliefs to convince themselves and others from vaccinating their children. As a result, physicians today are often faced with a difficult decision: Do they continue to care for unvaccinated patients, and put other patients at risk, or do they choose to dismiss these patients?
For physicians, vaccines seem like any easy choice. Backed by science, they are proven, safe, and effective with miniscule chance of negative side effects. Yet, some parents still have concerns and a genuine opposition. To dispel such fears, physicians must be able to effectively communicate the value of vaccines to their patients and parents.