Effect of an educational intervention and parental vaccine refusal forms on childhood vaccination rates in a clinic with a large Somali population

Objective: The purpose of this study is to improve vaccination rates at a clinic with a large Somali population, and many vaccine hesitant parents. The study evaluated the effectiveness of some new materials for vaccine hesitant parents.

Methods: Educational sessions were given to providers and staff to give “talking points” and to introduce a vaccine refusal form. Chart reviews were done for notes from 50 random well child visits per month of children less than six years old for 7 months before and after the intervention.

Results: Before the intervention, 44% of Somali children who needed shots did not get them at their well child visit. Afterwards, 34% of the Somali children did not get their needed shots. Of non-Somali children, 16.8% did not get needed shots before the intervention, and 12.7% did not get needed shots after the intervention (P=0.07). The MMR was the most frequent vaccine omitted. After the intervention, 29 parents signed the vaccine refusal form.

Conclusion: The “talking points” and vaccine refusal form were associated with improvements in immunization rates in this challenging patient population that were not statistically significant. Refusal form use was not well documented, so its true value requires further study.