August 04, 2009 03:20 pm — Family physicians know all too well that providing immunizations to their patients is an expensive service. That's why FPs -- especially those who are running solo and small practices -- need to make sure they have explored every avenue to reduce their immunization costs.Full Story »
Vaccines & Immunizations Special Report
More About Vaccines & Immunizations
Physician Participation Key to Role Registries Play in Immunization Efforts
08/04/2009 — One way to increase immunization rates in the United States is via physician participation in state and regional immunization registries. However, although nearly three-quarters of physicians who practice in the public sector participated in these programs in 2008, only about one-third of private practice physicians participated.
Teen Vaccination Rates Rising, but Still Short of HHS Goals
08/04/2009 — Tetanus, diphtheria toxoids and acellular pertussis, or Tdap, vaccine is recommended for all 11- and 12-year-olds, but only 30.4 percent of eligible American adolescents received the combination vaccine in 2007, according to the CDC. Although that figure represented nearly a 20 percent increase compared with 2006 coverage rates, physicians still need to do more to ensure this elusive cohort receives its recommended immunizations, according to FP vaccine expert Jonathan Temte, M.D., Ph.D.
FPs' Personal Touch Can Persuade Parents With Vaccine Concerns
08/04/2009 — Although immunization rates among infants and young children are at an all-time high, some parents are reluctant to vaccinate their children. So family physicians -- who administer many of the nation's vaccines -- must take the time to listen to parents' concerns and address them, according to CDC immunization experts. Family physicians, they say, are in a prime position to educate reluctant parents because of their ongoing relationships.
Poor Flu Vaccine Uptake by Health Care Workers Imperils Patients, Colleagues
08/04/2009 — Health care workers play a vital role in providing influenza vaccinations, but too many of those workers don't protect themselves, their patients and their co-workers from a disease that kills an average of 36,000 Americans a year. It's a longstanding problem that can persist even when health care institutions go on the offense, introducing a variety of immunization campaigns that specifically target health care personnel.
Uncertainty About Safety Reduces Flu Vaccine Uptake in Pregnant Women
08/04/2009 — It has been five years since the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, recommended that all women who are pregnant -- and those who may become pregnant -- during influenza season should be vaccinated. Yet immunization rates for this high-risk group remain alarmingly low.
Family Medicine Residencies Teach Many Strategies to Boost Immunization Rates
08/04/2009 — Located in a state with one of the lowest immunizations rates in the country, the Oregon Health & Science University family medicine residency program in Portland has its work cut out for it. Its 36 physicians-in-training learn strategies that help them talk to parents about immunizations, educate those parents about the need for their children to be vaccinated and devise ways to make immunizations part of each visit.
Federal Officials Prepare for Resurgence of Novel H1N1 Virus
08/04/2009 — Children and teenagers are two of the population groups most at risk from an expected resurgence of novel influenza A (H1N1) virus infection this fall. Because of this risk, the federal government is making plans to distribute through schools and daycare centers vaccine against the virus as soon as it becomes available, according to health care experts and Obama administration officials, who spoke during a July H1N1 Influenza Preparedness summit at NIH headquarters here.
Questions & Answers
AAFP Reaches Out to Insurers to Resolve Vaccine Payment Issues
08/04/2009 — The Academy's Practice Support Division works on behalf of family physicians on many fronts, including vaccine payment issues. The division's close interaction with both family physicians and the country's major health plans led AAFP News Now to pose a series of questions to staff members in the division.
Vaccine Expert Talks About Immunizations
08/04/2009 — There has been no shortage of vaccine-related news this year, with important court rulings, a rise in parental resistance to childhood vaccines and outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses. To get a perspective on vaccine and immunization issues, AAFP News Now sat down with Doug Campos-Outcalt, M.D., associate chair for the department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Arizona's College of Medicine, Phoenix, for a wide-ranging discussion on immunizations.
Activist Finds No Autism-Vaccine Link
08/04/2009 — It's been a rough year for the anti-vaccine movement. In February, three federal judges ruled in three separate cases that there is no association between vaccines and autism. In April, Alison Singer resigned from her role as executive vice president of Autism Speaks, the nation's largest private supporter of autism research, citing a disagreement with the organization's decision to continue to fund research into a possible link between vaccines and autism despite mounting evidence that vaccinations do not cause autism spectrum disorders.