Background: The effects of delayed influenza vaccine delivery on primary practices are currently unknown.
Purpose: To describe, among primary care physicians nationally regarding the 2006-2007 influenza season: (1) how physicians defined influenza vaccine delay; (2) the extent of reported vaccine delays; and (3) the perceived effects of vaccine delays.
Methods: Between March and June 2007, a total of 1268 primary care physicians nationally were surveyed.
Results: Survey response was 74% (n=940). The majority of physicians (79%) defined "influenza vaccine delay" as not receiving vaccine by November 1. Fifty-three percent reported a vaccine delay. Providers reported the following as effects of delays: reduced satisfaction of patients or parents in the practice (72%); decreased percentage in their practice who received the vaccination (65%); disruption of scheduling influenza clinics (55%); increased referral of patients elsewhere for vaccination (55%); and negative financial impact caused by unused vaccine (46%). Those who reported experiencing delays more often reported not meeting demand for vaccine (adjusted risk ratio [ARR]=1.83, 95% CI=1.64, 2.07); that grocery stores, retail outlets, or pharmacies had vaccine before their practices did (ARR=1.82, 95% CI=1.53, 2.26); not receiving all vaccine that was ordered (ARR=1.19, 95% CI=1.06, 1.36); and having leftover vaccine (ARR=1.17, 95% CI=1.04, 1.32).
Conclusions: During the 2006-2007 influenza season, a non-shortage season, the majority of respondents reported experiencing an influenza vaccine delivery delay. Experiencing a delay was thought to decrease vaccination use, increase referrals elsewhere, and have a negative financial impact on practices. Delayed delivery of influenza vaccine is disruptive for primary care practices, and it consequently may affect vaccination coverage.
Copyright © 2011 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.