Monitoring Flu Vaccine Use in Priority Populations
- Monitoring flu vaccine coverage of priority groups is vital.
- Abt conducts annual surveys of pregnant women and healthcare providers.
- Findings help CDC identify opportunities to improve vaccination uptake.
Influenza is a periodic and potentially fatal illness, so it is vital to monitor the flu vaccine coverage of groups targeted for vaccination, including pregnant women and healthcare providers (HCPs). Abt Associates works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct annual surveys of these populations to provide reliable and timely estimates of vaccination coverage, knowledge, attitudes, barriers and behaviors.
Abt has surveyed pregnant women for the past nine years and HCP for eight. For both groups we used two panels, Dynata’s general population panel and WebMD’s Medscape panel. In addition to asking about flu vaccine, our pregnant women survey asked about another important vaccination, for tetanus deptheria, and pertussis (Tdap). Our HCP survey also asked about employer vaccination policies. Results were weighted to reflect the U.S. population of pregnant women and HCP, respectively.
Our surveys have tracked flu vaccine coverage in pregnant women for nine years and in HCP for eight years and helped CDC and other vaccine stakeholders shape in-season communication messages to promote vaccination. We also assessed Zika virus knowledge, attitudes, barriers and behaviors in the 2016 and 2017 surveys of pregnant women, demonstrating the feasibility of using this method for rapid assessments of emerging infections.