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Increasing COVID-19 Immunization Rates through a Vaccination Program for Hospitalized Children.

INTRODUCTION: Inpatient coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination initiatives offer a novel strategy to eliminate barriers to care, provide access to interprofessional teams, and decrease COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. Our inpatient vaccination initiative aimed to triple the baseline rate of eligible hospitalized children vaccinated against COVID-19 from 0.95% to 2.85% from December 2021 to June 2022.

METHODS: We implemented a COVID-19 vaccination program for pediatric inpatients eligible to receive a dose based on age, current guidelines, and prior doses received. Key drivers included immunization counseling training, identification of eligible patients, and a streamlined workflow. The outcome measure was the percentage of eligible patients who received a vaccine dose during hospitalization. The process measures included the percentage of age-eligible patients who were appropriately screened for prior doses on admission. We designed a clinical decision support system to enhance eligibility identification. The team performed a health equity analysis which stratified patients by social vulnerability index.

RESULTS: During the study period, the average percentage of eligible hospitalized patients vaccinated increased from 0.9% to 3.5%, representing special cause variation and a centerline shift. The average percentage of age-eligible patients screened for prior vaccine doses on admission increased from 66.5% to 81.5%. Patients were more likely to be vaccinated if their clinician was exposed to the clinical decision support system ( P < 0.01). The social vulnerability index analysis showed no significant differences.

CONCLUSIONS: This COVID-19 vaccination initiative highlights how an interprofessional approach can increase vaccination rates in hospitalized children; however, overall inpatient COVID-19 vaccination rates in this setting remained low.

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