Immunization Adherence in Children With Sickle Cell Disease: A Single-Institution Experience

J Pediatr Pharmacol Ther. Jan-Feb 2020;25(1):39-46. doi: 10.5863/1551-6776-25.1.39.


Objectives: The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends additional immunizations for people with asplenia or functional asplenia, such as children with sickle cell disease. Adherence rate to the recommended immunization schedule for functional asplenia remains low for children with sickle cell disease. The purpose of this study was to assess the immunization adherence for this population at a single institution in Kentucky and to evaluate the use of the Kentucky Immunization Registry (KYIR) by providers.

Methods: A single-center retrospective chart review was conducted for 107 children with sickle cell disease ages 2 through 18 years. Immunization histories were obtained from the hospital EMRs, the sickle cell clinic EMR, the KYIR, and by requesting records from primary care physicians. Each patient was documented as either missing or having complete records in the KYIR.

Results: The complete adherence rate to the ACIP-recommended immunization schedule for children with functional asplenia was 6% (6 of 107). Nearly all children were compliant with the Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccination, whereas the adherence rate for the meningococcal and pneumococcal vaccines ranged from 25% to 77%. The lowest immunization rate was observed in children eligible for the meningococcal B vaccine (25%). Only 3 patients had a complete immunization history documented in the KYIR.

Conclusions: Adherence to the ACIP-recommended immunization schedule for functionally asplenic patients is poor among children with sickle cell disease included in this study. Quality improvement measures should focus on increasing immunization adherence and improving documentation of immunization records in the KYIR for this patient population.

Keywords: adherence; immunizations; sickle cell disease.