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National Immunization Survey

About the National Immunization Survey

The National Immunization Survey (NIS) is sponsored by the National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) and conducted jointly by NCIRD and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The NIS is a list-assisted random-digit-dialing telephone survey followed by a mailed survey to children’s immunization providers that began data collection in April 1994 to monitor childhood immunization coverage.

The target population for the NIS is children between the ages of 19 and 35 months living in the United States at the time of the interview. Data from the NIS are used to produce timely estimates of vaccination coverage rates for all childhood vaccinations recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Estimates are produced for the nation and non-overlapping geographic areas consisting of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and selected large urban areas. The official estimates of vaccination coverage rates from the NIS are rates of being up-to-date with respect to the ACIP recommended numbers of doses of vaccines. Vaccinations included in the survey are: diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP); poliovirus vaccine (polio); measles-containing vaccine (MCV); Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine (Hib); hepatitis B vaccine (Hep B); varicella zoster vaccine, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), hepatitis A vaccine (Hep A), and influenza vaccine (FLU).

The NIS is conducted for the CDC by the NORC at the University of Chicago. If you have any questions about the National Immunization Survey (NIS), please call toll free at 1-877-267-8154.

In conjunction with the NIS, CDC also conducts the NIS-Teen, NIS-Adult, 2009 H1N1 Flu Survey, National Flu Survey, as well as several Other health surveys.

 

Overview of NIS

Immunizing children against infectious disease has been a central mission, and a substantial success, for our national public health systems. During the 20th century the United States has seen the incidence of measles, pertussis, and diphtheria fall by more than 98%. This is due primarily to the use of vaccines that immunize children against these illnesses. But many children are still not adequately vaccinated, and levels of disease can be lowered much further.

The Childhood Immunization Initiative (CII) is one of many Federal, State, and local programs mounted to raise vaccination levels among young children. Initiated by President Clinton, the CII established a 1996 goal of increasing vaccination levels for 2-year-old children to at least 90% for measles-mumps-rubella, diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis vaccine, oral poliovirus vaccine, and Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine. In addition, the CII established a goal for 1996 to increase vaccination levels for 2-year-old children to at least 70% for three or more doses of hepatitis B (Hep B) vaccine. Sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Immunization Survey (NIS) is used to assess progress towards these goals. The study collects data by interviewing households in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and selected large urban areas. The interviews are conducted by telephone with households selected by random chance. The NIS data provide current, population-based, State and local area estimates of vaccination coverage produced by a standard methodology. Each quarter, estimates of vaccination coverage levels are calculated and valid comparisons of State efforts to deliver vaccination services are made.  As well as evaluating progress towards national vaccination goals, CDC uses the NIS data to identify States with the highest and lowest rates. To assure the accuracy and precision of the estimates, immunization data for surveyed children are also collected through a mail survey of their pediatricians, family physicians, and other health care providers. The parents and guardians of NIS-eligible children are asked during the telephone interview for consent to contact childrens' vaccination providers. In the past year, the NIS Provider Study Immunization History Questionnaire was sent to approximately 30,000 medical providers. Types of immunizations, dates of administration, and additional data about facility characteristics are requested from immunization providers identified during the telephone survey of households. The NIS estimates of vaccination coverage reflect a comparison of information provided by both immunization providers and households.

The NIS study has two parts:

  1. A household telephone survey [PDF - 269 KB]. This survey asks questions about childhood immunization for children 19-35 months of age and requests parental permission for contacting children's vaccination providers. Data are used primarily to monitor immunization coverage in the preschool population in non-overlapping geographic areas.
  2. A survey of vaccination providers [PDF - 529 KB]. This survey of doctors and other vaccination providers is conducted for study participants who have provided consent for this phase of the study.

The official estimates of vaccination coverage rates from the NIS-Teen are rates of being up-to-date with respect to the recommended numbers of doses of vaccines.

For additional information, please visit the National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases Web site.

 

Overview of NIS-Teen

The U.S. Public Health Service is committed to reaching the Healthy People 2010 objective that at least 90 percent of adolescents in the United States receive certain vaccinations. To measure progress toward this goal, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is conducting the National Immunization Survey-Teen (NIS-Teen). This study collects data by interviewing households in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and selected areas for oversampling. The interviews are conducted by telephone with households selected at random. To assure the accuracy and precision of the vaccination coverage estimates, immunization data for surveyed adolescents are also collected through a mail survey of their pediatricians, family physicians, and other health care providers. The parents and guardians of eligible adolescents are asked during the telephone interview for consent to contact the adolescents’ vaccination providers. Types of immunizations, dates of administration, and additional data about facility characteristics are requested from immunization providers that are identified during the telephone survey of households. The NIS-Teen’s estimates of adolescent vaccination coverage reflect a comparison of information provided by both surveyed households and immunization providers.

The NIS-Teen study has two parts:

  1. A household telephone survey [PDF - 296 KB]. This survey asks questions about immunizations for adolescents 13-17 years of age and requests parental permission for contacting adolescents' vaccination providers.
  2. A survey of vaccination providers [PDF - 550 KB]. This survey of doctors and other vaccination providers is conducted for study participants who have provided consent for this phase of the study.

For additional information, please visit the National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases Web site.

 

Overview of Online National Immunization Survey

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now offering a randomly selected group of individuals an option to complete the NIS and the NIS–Teen survey questionnaires online. Some participants will receive a letter in the mail that invites them to complete the survey online. The letter will include a URL (https://nis.norc.org/go/nis) and unique survey personal identification number (PIN). Some other participants may receive a text message with a URL (https://nis.norc.org/go/nis) and survey PIN. Participants who receive information about the web survey may choose to complete online or by phone. All NIS and NIS-Teen data are used to produce vaccination coverage estimates by state to ensure that vaccines are made available to everyone who needs them.

 

Overview of National 2009 H1N1 Flu Survey (NHFS)

In June of 2009, a novel strain of the flu known as the 2009 H1N1 flu or “swine flu” was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. The development and rapid spread of illness from the 2009 H1N1 flu virus has become a major public health concern, and H1N1 flu vaccination has been recommended this flu season for certain target groups initially, followed by the general public. In order to monitor and evaluate flu vaccination efforts among adults and children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is conducting the National 2009 H1N1 Flu Survey. The National 2009 H1N1 Flu Survey is a list-assisted random-digit-dialing telephone survey of both landline and cell telephones. Interviews are conducted by telephone with households in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to questions about H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccination status of adults and children, the survey also asks about flu-related behaviors, opinions about flu vaccine safety and effectiveness, recent respiratory illness, and pneumococcal vaccination status.

 

Overview of National Flu Survey (NFS)

TheNational Flu Survey collects data to measure the number of flu vaccinations received by adults and children nationwide, where people receive their flu vaccinations, their knowledge on the effectiveness and safety of flu vaccines, and why some people choose not to get vaccinated against the flu. The NFS has been conducted since the 2010-11 influenza season. In the 2011-12 influenza season, the survey was conducted in November to provide mid-season flu vaccination estimates and intent to get vaccinated. A survey is planned in March to provide end-of-season flu vaccination estimates.

 

 
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