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Text Message Reminders Promote Receipt of Second Flu Shot

Text message reminders with embedded interactive educational information increase receipt, timeliness of second vaccine dose in children

MONDAY, Aug. 15, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Text message reminders effectively promote receipt of a second dose of influenza vaccine among children, according to a study published online Aug. 15 in Pediatrics.

Melissa S. Stockwell, M.D., M.P.H., from Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues compared the effectiveness of text message reminders with embedded interactive educational information versus usual care on the receipt and timeliness of the second dose of the influenza vaccine in a trial conducted during the 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019 influenza seasons among 50 pediatric primary care offices across 24 states. A total of 2,086 caregiver-child dyads of children aged 6 months to 8 years who were in need of a second influenza vaccine were randomly assigned to intervention versus usual care.

The researchers found that children in the intervention group were more likely to receive a second dose by the end of the season (83.8 versus 80.9 percent; adjusted risk difference, 3.8 percent) and by day 42 (62.4 versus 55.7 percent; adjusted risk difference, 8.3 percent).

“We demonstrated the effectiveness of using personalized text message reminders to increase overall receipt and the timeliness of the second dose of the influenza vaccine,” the authors write. “A next step would be to assess how text message reminders for the second dose of influenza vaccine could be broadly implemented in practice settings serving children.”

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