Background: With recent delays in influenza vaccine availability, practitioners have been encouraged to time vaccination activities to promote vaccination of high-priority groups first. This cross-sectional survey of persons vaccinated in nontraditional settings (NTS) by mass vaccinators was conducted to assess how effectively the mass vaccinators were able to implement these vaccination-timing guidelines. Methods: In Minnesota, the Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency (MVNA) is a major mass vaccinator in NTS. For the 2001-2002 vaccination season, MVNA developed several strategies designed to facilitate adherence to vaccination timing guidelines adopted by the Minnesota Department of Health. All persons vaccinated in the MVNA NTS clinics from October 2001 through December 2001 were surveyed in order to evaluate whether they were in a high-priority group and whether the timing of their vaccinations coincided with the timing promoted in the guidelines. Results: A total of 46, 174 of the 145,947 people vaccinated by the MVNA were vaccinated between October 14 and October 28, 2001, the time period designated for vaccination of high-priority groups. Of these, 41,143 (89%) responded to the priority group question and 27,211 (66%) indicated that they were in one of the targeted groups, including more than 19,000 Medicare recipients. At sites targeting senior citizens, more than 92% of initial vaccine recipients were in a targeted group. Overall, 48.4% of persons vaccinated at any time during the vaccination season were in a high-priority group. Conclusions: Mass vaccinators can successfully implement influenza vaccination timing guidelines in NTS.
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