Documenting immunization of children in a cochlear implant program

Otol Neurotol. 2014 Feb;35(2):246-52. doi: 10.1097/MAO.0b013e3182a473b0.


Purpose: Assess the effectiveness of an immunization verification protocol (IVP) to achieve and document pneumococcal vaccination of patients with cochlear implants.

Study design: Chart review.

Setting: Academic tertiary medical center.

Patients: Pediatric patients with cochlear implants (n = 76).

Outcome measures: 1) Status of pneumococcal immunization for cochlear implant patients, before and after initiation of the IVP; 2) final number of existing cochlear implant patients successfully immunized after institution of the IVP; and 3) effectiveness of communication between our office and patient/parent or pediatrician.

Results: Subjects were grouped according to whether their cochlear implantation was performed before (Group 1, n = 63) or after (Group 2, n = 18) initiation of the IVP in September 2010. In the 28 months between IVP initiation and January 2013, the number of fully immunized age-eligible patients increased in Group 1 from 2% (n = 1) to 63% (n = 40). Of 18 subjects in Group 2, 56% (n = 10) were fully vaccinated at the time of surgery, and 94% were fully vaccinated at the conclusion of the study (n = 17). Of all 81 children, complete immunization was documented in 70% (n = 57), incomplete documentation was noted in 16% (n = 13); and 14% (n = 11) were lost to follow-up.

Conclusion: It is a challenge to achieve and document immunizations recommended for cochlear implantation, even in a relatively small cochlear implant program. In our practice, those patients who were required to document immunizations before surgery had the highest rates of compliance. Access to a vaccination registry and the ability to administer vaccines in the otolaryngology office also improved compliance.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cochlear Implantation*
  • Cochlear Implants
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization Schedule
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Medical Records*
  • Pneumococcal Infections / prevention & control*
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines*
  • Vaccination*


  • Pneumococcal Vaccines