Immunization Practices and Beliefs of Physicians in Suburban Cook County, Illinois
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This study was conducted to ascertain the vaccination beliefs and practices of physicians who provide care for low income children. Sixty-two (56.9%) of a sample of 109 physicians in suburban Cook County, Illinois responded to a mail survey. A majority of physicians reported a willingness to immunize during well child care, follow-up, and chronic illness visits; yet, a substantial lack of willingness to immunize given certain acute mild illnesses was reported. Twenty-six percent of providers did not routinely identify children who were behind in immunizations and only 16% had completed a chart audit in the past three years. Seventy-four percent were willing to provide all shots needed at a single visit. Misconceptions regarding true contraindications was found among the group. Missed well child visits were identified as the greatest barrier to complete immunization. Improvements in vaccination rates are expected if physicians utilize all types of medical encounters to monitor the immunization status of patients and provide vaccines using only true medical contraindications.
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