1. Text message reminders to parents that contained educational information resulted in increased second-dose influenza vaccination uptake among children aged 6 months to 8 years.
2. Parents receiving text message reminders were more likely to get their child’s second dose of influenza vaccine within 2 weeks of its due date compared to parents who received written reminders.
Evidence Rating Level: 1 (Excellent)
Study Rundown: Less than half of children requiring 2 doses of influenza vaccine receive their second dose. The use of text message reminders has been shown to be effective in increasing first-dose vaccination of children, so this study sought to examine the effect of these reminders on second-dose influenza vaccination. Children in the text message reminder group were significantly more likely to receive the required second dose of influenza vaccine when compared to children receiving traditional written reminders in the mail. In addition, the group receiving educational text messages containing information about the importance of a second dose were even more likely to receive the second dose. Children receiving text message reminders were also more likely to be vaccinated within 2 weeks of the vaccination due date. This study focused on a largely low-income, minority population, which may limit its generalization. However, results do suggest that physicians, especially those working with low-income populations, should consider using text message reminders to improve vaccine uptake.
In-Depth [randomized controlled trial]: Participants included 660 individuals ages 6 months to 8 years from 3 academically-affiliated, community-based clinics in New York City who required a second influenza vaccine dose in the 2012 to 2013 flu season. They were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: written reminder, conventional text messages plus written reminder, or educational text messages plus written reminder. The educational text messages included the following additional information: the child is not protected until receiving the second dose, full protection may take up to 2 weeks after the second dose, and doctors recommend a second dose. Children in both the educational text message group and the conventional text message group were significantly more likely to receive a second dose of influenza vaccine than those in the written reminder group (RR = 1.27, 95% CI 1.11-1.47 and RR = 1.17 95% CI 1.01-1.35, respectively). Children in the educational text message group were also more likely to receive their second dose within 2 weeks of its due date when compared to the written reminder group (RR=1.7, 95% CI 1.30-2.24).
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