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Texting Can Be A Helpful Reminder to Keep Vaccinations Timely


Some children need two doses of influenza vaccine in a season, yet less than half of these children receive both doses. A study in the January 2015 issue of Pediatrics, “Text Message Reminders for Second Dose of Influenza Vaccine: A RandomizedControlled Trial,” published online Dec. 29, reported on 660 Latino children between the ages of 6 months through 8 years from three community clinics in New York City who were receiving their first influenza vaccination that season and needed a second dose. Each child was randomly assigned to receive either conventional text messages including vaccination due date and clinic hours; educational text messages, which also added influenza vaccine health literacy promoting information; or a written reminder only. Parents who received the educational texts were more likely (72.7 percent) to come back for the needed second dose, versus 66.7 percent who received conventional texts, or 57.1 percent who had only a written reminder at time of vaccination. They also had more timely vaccination. Study authors conclude that text messages that let parents know when to come back to get the second dose and remind them why it is important are a quick and easy way to help families get the protection they need for their children.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 62,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults ( Follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.