Online Program

Summer vacation and vaccination: Seasonal variation in uptake of adolescent vaccines

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Jennifer Moss, PhD, MSPH, Department of Health Behavior, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC
Paul L. Reiter, PhD, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Noel Brewer, PhD, Department of Health Behavior, University of North Carolina, Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC
Background. Identifying cycles of variation in adolescent vaccination would highlight periods when vaccine promotion programs could be particularly effective. We hypothesized that uptake of recommended adolescent vaccines would vary cyclically across years, with vaccination concentrated in the summer months.

Methods. Data came from 72,931 participants in the 2008-2012 versions of the National Immunization Survey-Teen, which collects nationally-representative, provider-verified data about vaccination among 13- to 17-year-old adolescents. Using administration dates of each recommended adolescent vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap), meningococcal, and human papillomavirus (HPV)), we examined cyclical patterns in vaccination. We analyzed HPV vaccine initiation only among female adolescents.

Results. Uptake of adolescent vaccines in the United States demonstrated cyclical patterns for each year and for each state (all P<0.001). Uptake was 5 times as frequent at the cycle’s peak as at its trough for Tdap booster, 10 times for meningococcal vaccine, and 5 times for HPV vaccine. Adolescent vaccination was highest in June, July, and August (three-month totals: Tdap booster, 40.2%; meningococcal vaccine, 41.1%; HPV vaccine, 38.7%). Nationally, concomitant vaccination (i.e., receipt of 2 or more vaccines on the same day) also demonstrated cyclical patterns each year (all P<0.001).

Conclusions. Adolescent vaccination had dramatically higher uptake during the summer months, particularly in August. Practitioners and researchers should anticipate summer peaks in adolescent vaccination when allocating resources, setting goals, and planning and evaluating efforts to increase uptake.

Learning Areas:

Biostatistics, economics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Assess cycles in adolescent vaccination across months. Anticipate increases in vaccination during the summer. Incorporate summer increases in vaccination into quality improvement program design and evaluation.

Keyword(s): Primary Care, Immunizations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have studied adolescent vaccination for 5 years (10 peer-reviewed publication). I received an individual predoctoral fellowship from the National Cancer Institute to conduct the research described in this abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.