Pediatrics. 2023 Sep 14:e2022061011. doi: 10.1542/peds.2022-061011. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 vaccine is important for children with sickle cell disease (SCD). This quality improvement project’s objective was to increase the proportion of children with SCD receiving ≥2 COVID-19 vaccine doses to ≥70% by June 2022.
METHODS: We used the Model for Improvement framework. We assessed COVID-19 vaccination rates biweekly. Three plan-do-study-act cycles focusing on patient education, provider awareness, and access were performed. Process measures included the outcome of outreach calls and educational video views. Missed clinic appointments was our balancing measure. Line graphs and statistical process control charts were used to track changes. Interrupted time series was used to model implementation rates while accounting for preexisting trends.
RESULTS: A total of 243 patients were included. During the preintervention (September 2021-January 2022) and intervention periods (February 2022-June 2022), overall vaccination rates increased from 33% to 41% and 41% to 64%, respectively. Mean vaccination rate in eligible children in each 2-week period increased from 2.1% to 7.2%. The achieved vaccination rate was 11% greater than predicted for patients with SCD. For the general population the achieved vaccination rate was 23% lower than predicted. The proportion of missed visits did not change (9.0% vs. 9.6%). During outreach calls, 10 patients (13.5%) booked a vaccine. Forty percent of patients watched the promotional video.
CONCLUSIONS: A significant number of patients with SCD are not vaccinated against COVID-19. Targeting misinformation and improving vaccine access aided in increasing vaccination. Additional interventions are needed as a large number of patients remain unvaccinated.