IOM calls for research on vaccination delivery sites

March 15, 2010

The Institute of Medicine says more research is necessary comparing the advantages of different sites for vaccination.

More research should be undertaken to compare the advantages of different sites for vaccination, according to an Institute of Medicine (IOM) panel report, especially because nontraditional sites for vaccination, including pharmacies, have become more prominent over the last decade.

Comparative effectiveness research has been expanded to include the ways and settings in which care is delivered, the report stated, and such studies could look at issues such as the best settings in which to deliver immunization to different populations and age groups. But, the panel said, "Little research has been done examining the strengths and weaknesses of each delivery setting (e.g., primary-care setting vs. retail-based) for various populations and age groups."

The IOM committee made the recommendations as part of its review of the proposed National Vaccine Plan for the next decade, which was drafted last year under the coordination of the National Vaccine Program Office in the Department of Health and Human Services. The national plan is expected to be finalized next summer.

The IOM report also stated that the National Vaccine Plan should include strategies to eliminate financial barriers such as unreasonable cost-sharing by patients and "provider payment mechanisms that discourage ... participation in the delivery of immunization services." - Kathryn Foxhall