BACKGROUND: Influenza vaccination has been recommended for all persons aged ≥6 months since 2010.
METHODS: Data from the 2016 National Internet Flu Survey were analyzed to assess provider vaccination recommendations and early influenza vaccination during the 2016-17 season among adults aged ≥18 years. Predictive marginals from a multivariable logistic regression model were used to identify factors independently associated with early vaccine uptake by provider vaccination recommendation status.
RESULTS: Overall, 24.0% visited a provider who both recommended and offered influenza vaccination, 9.0% visited a provider who only recommended but did not offer, 25.1% visited a provider who neither recommended nor offered, and 41.9% did not visit a doctor from July 1 through date of interview. Adults who reported that a provider both recommended and offered vaccine had significantly higher vaccination coverage (66.6%) compared with those who reported that a provider only recommended but did not offer (48.4%), those who neither received recommendation nor offer (32.0%), and those who did not visit a doctor during the vaccination period (28.8%). Results of multivariable logistic regression indicated that having received a provider recommendation, with or without an offer for vaccination, was significantly associated with higher vaccination coverage after controlling for demographic and access-to-care factors.
CONCLUSIONS: Provider recommendation was significantly associated with influenza vaccination. However, overall, 67.0% of adults did not visit a doctor during the vaccination period or did visit a doctor but did not receive a provider recommendation. Evidence-based strategies such as client reminder/recall, standing orders, provider reminders, or health systems interventions in combination should be undertaken to improve provider recommendation and influenza vaccination coverage. Other factors significantly associated with a higher level of influenza vaccination included age ≥50 years, being Hispanic, having a college or higher education, having a usual place for medical care, and having public health insurance.