In January 2021, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) began work on the quality improvement (QI) project, Improving Adult Immunization Rates Within Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities. The project is funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. The QI project aims to increase adult immunization rates in racial and ethnic minority communities by:
Assessing current adult immunization rates
Identifying barriers that affect vaccination rates
Educating physicians and health care teams about adult immunizations
Addressing misinformation and myths about vaccines
Overcoming systemic barriers to vaccination
Implementing evidence-based interventions to improve vaccination rates and measure success
Twenty-four family physician practices participated in the project using the QI process and other evidence-based improvement strategies, such as Plan-Do-Study-Act (PSDA) cycles to increase immunization rates in adult patients from racial and ethnic minority communities. Family physicians who provide continuity of care within the communities they serve are ideally suited to address gaps in immunizations.
This two-part supplement series will share information and lessons learned by our participating practices on their journey to improve immunization rates in racial and ethnic minority communities. Part one highlights QI processes to reduce vaccine disparities, identifies recommended adult vaccines, and discusses their importance among racial and ethnic minority communities. Part two (appearing in a future issue of FPM) will focus on communication strategies and overcoming myths, misinformation, and barriers to improving vaccine confidence and vaccination rates within these communities.