Protecting Texas Children

Evidence-Based Recommendations for Improving Childhood Vaccination Rates

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Abstract of Journal Article -- March 2003  

By Clarke E. Cochran, PhD; David R. Smith, MD; Glen Reid, MPA, OTR; Helen Morrow, LMSW-ACP; and Jennifer Ramirez  

Currently, Texas ranks in the bottom quintile of states for childhood vaccinations. Approximately, one fourth of Texas children younger than age 3 years have not received the recommended full schedule of vaccinations. Such a low rate can produce serious health consequences by reducing "community immunity." We review the current literature on barriers to high immunization rates and on effective, evidence-based strategies and programs. In addition, we report the results of interviews with public health officials responsible for implementing immunization programs in Texas and in a sample of high-ranking states for their assessment of the most effective strategies. We suggest legislative and administrative changes for Texas on the basis of the literature review and interview results. These recommendations involve improving the public health network, strengthening financial and administrative incentives to providers, enhancing incentives for parents, and encouraging federal program modifications.

March 2003 Texas Medicine Contents
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