Electronic Reminders Boost Flu Vaccine Uptake in Older Adults

Letters highlighting potential cardiovascular benefits of influenza vaccination found to be particularly effective

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WEDNESDAY, March 22, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Electronically delivered letter reminders significantly increase vaccination uptake among older adults in Denmark, according to a study published online March 5 in The Lancet.

Niklas Dyrby Johansen, M.D., from Copenhagen University Hospital–Herlev and Gentofte in Denmark, and colleagues investigated whether behavioral nudges increase influenza vaccination uptake among older adults in Denmark. The analysis included 691,820 households (964,870 individuals 65 years and older) randomly assigned (9:1:1:1:1:1:1:1:1:1) to usual care or nine different electronic reminder letters.

The researchers found that compared with usual care, influenza vaccination rates were higher in the group receiving an electronic letter highlighting potential cardiovascular benefits of vaccination (81.00 versus 80.12 percent) and the group receiving repeated letters at randomization and on day 14 (80.85 versus 80.12 percent). Improved vaccination rates were seen across major subgroups, including those with and without established cardiovascular disease. For participants who had not been vaccinated for influenza in the previous season, the cardiovascular gain-framed letter was particularly effective. Findings were similar in a sensitivity analysis.

"Although the magnitude of effectiveness was modest, the low-touch, inexpensive, and highly scalable nature of these electronic letters might be informative for future public health campaigns," the authors write.

The study was funded by Sanofi.

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Lori Solomon

Lori Solomon

Medically reviewed by Mark Arredondo, M.D.

Published on March 22, 2023

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