Jessica Ray, MD
Pediatric Resident, PGY-3
Seattle Children’s Hospital
The WCAAP in conjunction with the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) recently conducted a needs assessment of pediatric healthcare clinicians related to COVID-19 vaccination of adolescents to inform the development of strategies, action plans, and/or resources to help meet these needs.
As most are aware, currently the Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine with approved emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for children ages 12 and up (as of May 12, 2021). Additionally, it can be administered in conjunction with other vaccines without a two week waiting period. With this new authorization, the WCAAP and DOH of the state of Washington conducted a survey to gather general practice information, determine interest and capacity of practices to administer the Pfizer COVID vaccine, and assess how the WCAAP and/or DOH can best support these efforts.
We received 82 responses to the survey. Of those responders, a majority were pediatric or family medicine providers. A majority of the survey respondents were not yet vaccinating adolescents against COVID-19 at their practice (57%). However, of the practices that were not yet administering the COVID-19 vaccine to adolescents, 57% would be interested in administering the vaccine in the future. Additionally, many practices were eager to partner with other organizations to help vaccinate their patients including local health departments (50%), large healthcare systems (37%), other healthcare providers (35%), and pharmacies (27.7%). At least 20% of practices requested some support with various aspects of vaccination implementation. Specifically, one of the primary barriers to vaccination that was identified was a need for more information/counseling regarding Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine storage/handling (32%).
In terms of communicating with patients and families regarding COVID-19 vaccination of adolescents, >35% of respondents expressed a desire for more support. Providers expressed need for more support in counseling/communicating with patients and families about the following issues amongst others: COVID-19 illness/disease in adolescents (40%), vaccine availability (37%), and cautions/contraindications (35%).
We greatly appreciate all of the responses. Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey. The WCAAP will work with the DOH to ensure that providers and practices have all of the support and resources they need to successfully vaccinate adolescents against COVID-19, either at their practice or via partnership with other organizations.