If your child needed two doses of the flu shot this year, you’re not alone. Yet research finds that less than half of those kids don’t get the necessary second shot.
A new study published online today in the journal Pediatrics explores a texting program to help parents remember to visit the doctor for that second dose.
Parents of 660 Latino children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years were randomly selected to receive one of three different messages. These children, all patients in three New York City health clinics, needed to return to the for an additional dose of the vaccine. Messages given to the patients included one “conventional text message,” which simply provided the next appointment date and clinic hours, an “educational text message,” which included the appointment date, clinic hours, and health literacy information and finally a written-only reminder.
Children who received the “educational texts” were more likely to receive a second dose by the due date (72.7%) versus those receiving the “conventional text” (66.7%). Continue reading
You’d never call Dr. Lester Hartman and his associates at Westwood-Mansfield Pediatrics shy, but this musical version of the “get your flu shot” lecture takes the video oeuvre of this practice to new heights.
Challenge to other doctors and nurses: can you top this? How far are you going this season to persuade patients to get vaccinated against influenza?
After all that public health nagging about getting a flu shot, it turns out this year’s vaccine was not only just 56% effective against the virus for those over 6 months old, according to the CDC, but it was virtually ineffective for folks over 65, a particularly vulnerable population.
USA Today reports on today’s CDC’s update:
This season’s flu vaccine was almost completely ineffective in people 65 and older, which could explain why rates of hospitalization and death have been some of the highest ever recorded for that age group, according to early estimates released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For people under 65, getting vaccinated this season reduced the need to go to the doctor for the flu by one-half to two-thirds. Continue reading