Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Frequently Asked Questions about the Surveys for Participants

For Survey Participants

Question and Answers icon

Español: Preguntas frecuentes

Q: How did you get my (my child’s) phone number?

A: A computer randomly chooses the majority of the telephone numbers used for this phone survey. In rare cases, health departments may provide contact information. (The survey involves conducting phone interviews with people across the entire country.) We do not know if a phone number we dial belongs to a child. We ask for someone over the age of 17 years and only continue the call with that person.

Q: Why are you calling my cell phone?

A: We call both landline and cell phone numbers. Many households no longer have landline phones. If we did not call people who have both or only cell phones, the survey would not cover children in all types of households. Your cell phone number was randomly chosen for the survey.

Q: Why are you calling me?

A: You were randomly chosen to participate in the survey. The main purpose of the NIS, NIS-Teen, and NIS-Flu is to find out if recommended vaccinations are given to children and teens across the country.

Q: Why should I take part in the survey?

A: We need your help to monitor vaccinations given to children and teens. You were randomly chosen to participate in the survey. We call each number to identify parents and guardians of children and teens. If you are a parent, you will represent thousands of other households like yours who are not in the sample. We cannot talk to all of the millions of parents in this country — that would cost too much and take too long. So we scientifically select a “sample” of phone numbers to identify households with children and teens. Your household is unique and cannot be replaced with another. When selected households respond to the survey, the results are more accurate.

Top of Page

Q: How do I know this is a legitimate survey?

A: The surveys are conducted on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and are authorized by the Public Health Service Act [Section 306]. The phone surveys provide important information about childhood vaccinations and related health issues. If you received a call or a letter and have any questions about these surveys, please call the survey contractor, NORC, toll-free at 1-877-220-4805. Someone is usually available to answer the phone from 9AM to 9PM in your time zone. If possible, please call from the same phone line that received the call from 312-578-7022 or 312-578-7029. This helps us more quickly direct your call to someone who can answer your questions. If you leave a message, we try to return all calls received between 9AM and 9PM within one to two hours.

If you prefer to use a TTY, please call the AT&T Relay Service at 1-800-855-2880 and request that NORC be called at 1-877-220-4805.

Q: Will my answers be kept private?

A: Privacy is required by law. Names and all other personal identifiers will not be released. The facts collected in the surveys will only be provided in summary reports.

The federal law that requires all information we collect to be held in strict confidence are the Privacy Act of 1974, Section 308(d) of the Public Health Service Act [42 U.S.C. 242m(d)]. If any federal employee, contractor, or agent gives out personally identifying information not authorized by law, he or she is subject to disciplinary action, including fines and criminal charges that may result in jail time. See Confidentiality: How the National Immunization Surveys Keep Your Information Private.

Top of Page

Q: Is there a letter that explains the purpose of the survey?

A: Some households selected for the survey receive a letter [2 pages] that explains the purpose of the survey before they are called. This letter is from Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Not all selected households receive a letter because mailing addresses may not be available for all telephone numbers selected for the survey. You may contact the survey researchers at 1-877-220-4805 to have a letter sent to your home.

Q: How long will it take?

A: The survey times vary for the NIS, NIS-Teen, and NIS-Flu. We try to keep the interviews to less than 20 minutes and some may be as short as 10 minutes, depending on the survey you qualify for.

Top of Page

Q: Why does the survey request information from my child’s vaccination provider?

A: Vaccination information from doctors and clinics tends to be the most up-to-date and complete. Types of vaccination, dates of administration, and administrative data about facility characteristics are requested from healthcare providers identified by parents during the household survey. Having your child’s medical providers report vaccination information saves you time and shortens your phone interview.

Q: Will the medical provider give anything other than my child’s vaccination information to CDC?

A: No. With the permission of a parent or legal guardian, we send a request form, along with a record of the parent or guardian’s consent, to the child’s doctor or clinic. The request form asks specifically about the vaccination records only and providers are not asked to give any other information.

Once vaccination data have been collected, information that identifies the child or parent or guardian is no longer necessary or used. The names of your children and any names of their doctors or clinics will not be used in any study results.

Top of Page

Q: Who uses this information?

A: CDC will use the results of the study to help improve the health of children and teens. By checking if recommended vaccinations are being received by children across the country, CDC is able to assess the extent to which local areas, states, and the nation are reaching vaccination targets. Reports from these surveys never contain any personal information and never identify who participated in the survey.

Q: How do I get the calls to stop?

A: While we hope you are able to help us with this important health project, we understand if you are unable to do so at this time.

If you receive another call from 312-578-7022 or 312-578-7029 please answer and say “Take me off your list.” The interviewer will remove your number from our calling list.

If you do not want to wait for a call, please call NORC toll-free at 1-877-220-4805. Someone is usually available to answer the phone from 9AM to 9PM in your time zone. If possible, please call from the same phone line that received the call from 312-578-7022 or 312-578-7029. This helps us more quickly direct your call to someone who can help you. If you leave a message, we try to respond to all calls received between 9AM and 9PM within one to two hours.

If you prefer to use a TTY, please call the AT&T Relay Service at 1-800-855-2880 and request that NORC be called at 1-877-220-4805.

Top of Page

Q: Where do I get more information?

A: To schedule an interview:

For survey information:

For information about your rights as a participant:

  • Call the Research Ethics Review Board toll-free at 1-800-223-8118. Please leave a message and mention protocol #2013-01. The messages are reviewed throughout the week you called. A response is usually made within a week.

For information on vaccinations and places that provide vaccinations:

Top of Page

TOP