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Primary Care Plays Key Role in Vaccinating Older Individuals

Primary care physicians may also play important role in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout

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FRIDAY, July 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Primary care physicians have been the largest provider of vaccinations for older individuals, according to a study published online in the July 1 issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Elizabeth Wilkinson, from the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care in Washington, D.C., and colleagues used 2017 Medicare Part B Fee-for-Service data and the 2013 to 2017 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to assess delivery of vaccinations by provider type.

The researchers found that in the 2017 Medicare Part B Fee-for-Service, primary care physicians provided the largest share of services for vaccinations (46 percent), followed closely by mass immunizers (45 percent), and then nurse practitioners/physician assistants (5 percent). Results were similar with the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, with primary care physicians providing most clinical visits for vaccination (54 percent of all visits).

"Primary care physicians deliver preventive care as well as address acute and chronic medical needs. They are equipped to provide clinical guidance to help patients interpret results from COVID-19 testing and immunity determinations and answer vaccine questions," the authors write. "Given its historic role in immunization counseling and vaccine delivery, primary care, in concert with public health agencies and community health organizations, is essential for immediate and sustainable population health efforts to address COVID-19 recovery."

Abstract/Full Text

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