HealthDay News — While primary care physicians overwhelmingly recommend pneumococcal vaccines, there is a gap in their knowledge of how to implement related vaccine recommendations, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

Laura P. Hurley, MD, MPH, from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, and colleagues conducted a survey of primary care physicians throughout the United States on knowledge, practice, attitudes, and beliefs regarding adult pneumococcal vaccine recommendations. A total of 617 out of 935 physicians responded.

The researchers found that more than 95% of respondents reported routinely assessing adults’ vaccination status and recommending both the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23). Most respondents felt the current recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices are clear (50% said “very clear” and 38 percent said “somewhat clear”). Reported barriers to giving these vaccines include the upfront cost of purchasing PCV13, lack of insurance coverage, inadequate reimbursement, and difficulty determining vaccination history. There was variance regarding knowledge of recommendations, with 83% of respondents identifying the PCV13 recommendation for adults aged 65 years or older but only 21% identifying the recommended interval between PCV13 and PPSV23 in an individual younger than 65 years at increased risk.

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“My hope is that acknowledgement of the complexity of the recommendations opens a conversation about how best to implement them,” Hurley said in a statement. “I would like more efforts to be made to have electronic health records facilitate the vaccine delivery process.”

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