Benefits | Flu & Pneumonia Interventions

Health benefits for adult immunization1-2

Employee health benefits are part of an overall compensation package and affect an employee’s willingness to seek preventive services and clinical care.

Provide coverage for clinical preventive services such as immunization for vaccine-preventable diseases.

  • The recommendations of The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) are the most commonly accepted national guidelines for pediatric, adolescent, and adult immunizations. The ACIP is supported by liaison members such as the American College of Physicians (ACP), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and the American Medical Association (AMA) who are critical partners to carry out the recommendations of the committee. The ACIP produces a recommended schedule of adult immunizations by vaccine-preventable disease, age group, and indications based on several medical conditions such as pregnancy or chronic disease
  • Employer should provide coverage for the following ACIP recommended adult vaccines:
    • Diphtheria and tetanus (Td) booster every 10 years for persons younger than 65 years. One of the Td boosters should be replaced with tetantus/diptheria/acellular pertussis (Tdap) to provide protection against pertussis (whooping cough)
    • Influenza (annually for adults age 50 years and older)
    • Human papillomavirus for women ≤ 26 years of age
    • Varicella (chickenpox) immunization (2 doses) for people with no evidence of immunity such as a history of varicella infection. Very few adults actually need the varicella vaccine because most adults had chickenpox as children
    • Zoster (shingles) for adults age 60 years and older
    • Pneumococcal (for adults age 65 years and older)
  • Other immunizations, such as hepatitis A and B; pneumococcal (for persons younger than 65 years based on high risk conditions such as diabetes); measles, mumps, and rubella (1-2 doses for persons born after 1957); and meningococcal vaccines
  • All vaccines may be recommended for individuals based on their age, medical conditions and/or other circumstances as determined by their physicians
  • Health care personnelexternal icon may need a more comprehensive group of immunizations even if their overall health is good

Reducing the out-of-pocket costs for immunization will increase vaccination coverage among employees

  • Investigations have shown that reducing the out-of-pocket cost of the intervention service for the client increases demand for and use of immunization services. Employers can reduce the costs for vaccinations by paying for the immunization or their administrative costs, by providing insurance coverage, or by reducing co-payments for these services
  • The Task Force on Community Preventative Servicesexternal icon has determined that reducing out-of-pocket costs is effective in increasing vaccine coverage
  • Bringing immunization services on-site such as through an occupational health clinic is often an effective strategy to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. On-site interventions reduce the cost barriers that prevent employees from receiving preventive services such as transportation to a clinic facility and the need for child care

Require health plans to send reminders to employees and providers about recommended vaccines

  • Task Force on Community Preventative Servicesexternal icon has determined that client and provider reminder/recall is effective in increasing vaccine coverage
  • Employee reminders tell people that it is time to schedule an appointment for a recommended vaccine or that they are late (recall) for a recommended vaccine
  • Provider reminders may be placed in patient records or entered into a reminder system to encourage clinicians to contact patients who are due for immunizations
  • Employee reminders can be mailed as a letter or postcard or communicated as part of a telephone call
  • Additional information about the health benefits of immunization can also be included as part of the reminder
References

1.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommended adult immunization schedule—United States October 2007-September 2008. MMWR. 2007; 57(41): Q1-Q4. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/wk/mm5641-Immunization.pdf pdf icon[PDF – 259KB].

2.  Task Force on Community Preventive Services. The Guide to Community Preventive Services: What Works to Promote Health. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. Available from: http://www.thecommunityguide.org/vaccines/clientoutofpocketcosts_inactive.htmlexternal icon.