Colorado PROFILES, The Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI)
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While several promising new vaccines are specifically targeted at the adolescent population, the successful delivery of these vaccines may face certain challenges. Adolescents are less frequently seen for preventive health services than other age groups, often do not have a connection with a traditional medical home, and may present for care without their parents, complicating issues of consent. Therefore, developing vaccination programs in complementary health care settings, such as school-based health centers, community health centers, family planning clinics, and faith-based organizations, may be needed in order to maximize immunization coverage for these vaccines.

In the current proposal, a study team with extensive research experience in immunization delivery will investigate the feasibility, acceptability, and capacity of complementary health care settings to provide new vaccines to adolescents, particularly vaccines against sexually transmitted infections. Initially, national and local data sources will be analyzed to document the extent to which adolescents access traditional and/or complementary health care settings. Next, interviews, focus groups, and surveys among providers, parents, and adolescents will be used to assess the acceptability of adolescent immunization in a broad range of complementary health care settings, and these data will be used to select three candidate sites for further investigation. In selected sites, the study team will then utilize surveys to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of providers, parents, and adolescents regarding immunization against sexually transmitted infections. Within these sites, detailed on-site observations, focus groups with staff, and reviews of existing administrative data will be used to assess the potential capacity for delivering new vaccines to adolescents. Integrating the data gathered at each previous step, the study team will finally develop a model for selected complementary sites that generates data on optimal immunization delivery strategies, expected vaccination coverage rates, and anticipated reductions in disease incidence resulting from vaccination in these sites.

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