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Adoption of Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine Recommendations

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

In 2015, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended that 16- to 23-year-olds may be vaccinated with the serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) vaccine on the basis of individual clinical decision-making (Category B). We assessed the following among US pediatricians and family physicians (FPs): (1) practices regarding MenB vaccine delivery, (2) factors influencing a decision to recommend the MenB vaccine, and (3) factors associated with discussing the MenB vaccine.

METHODS:

We surveyed a nationally representative sample of pediatricians and FPs via e-mail and Internet from October 2016 to December 2016.

RESULTS:

The response rate was 72% (660 of 916). During routine visits, 51% of pediatricians and 31% of FPs reported always or often discussing MenB vaccine. Among those who discussed often or always, 91% recommended vaccination; among those who never or rarely discussed, 11% recommended. We found that 73% of pediatricians and 41% of FPs currently administered the MenB vaccine. Although many providers reported not knowing about factors influencing recommendation decisions, MenB disease outbreaks (89%), disease incidence (62%), and effectiveness (52%), safety (48%), and duration of protection of MenB vaccine (39%) increased the likelihood of recommendation, whereas the Category B recommendation (45%) decreased likelihood. Those somewhat or not at all aware of the MenB vaccine (risk ratio 0.32 [95% confidence interval 0.25–0.41]) and those practicing in a health maintenance organization (0.39 [0.18–0.87]) were less likely, whereas those aware of disease outbreaks in their state (1.25 [1.08–1.45]) were more likely to discuss MenB vaccine.

CONCLUSIONS:

Primary care physicians have significant gaps in knowledge about MenB disease and the MenB vaccine, and this appears to be a major driver of the decision not to discuss the vaccines.

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