SMSes a novel way to boost vaccination
New York: Sending SMS alerts can help boost the rate of vaccination among low-income groups in developing countries like India.
A new research has shown that sending text messages to a particular population of pregnant women resulted in a surge in influenza vaccination.
“Vaccination during pregnancy helps protect newborns. We strongly recommend that women receive influenza vaccination during pregnancy and SMSing them during pregnancy brought favourable results,” said Melissa Stockwell, assistant professor at the Mailman School of Public Health in Columbia University, New York.
Researchers evaluated the impact of text messaging reminders for influenza vaccine in a low-income obstetric population, said the study published in the "American Journal of Public Health".
The researchers followed 1,187 obstetric patients from five community-based clinics that routinely provides influenza vaccinations to pregnant women from low-income population group.
Women received five weekly text messages about the importance of the vaccine.
The results showed that text messaging was successfully used to increase vaccination coverage.
Adjusting for gestational age and number of clinic visits, women who received the intervention were 30 percent more likely to be vaccinated, said the study.
“Earlier studies done by our teams looked at text messaging vaccine reminder-recalls to improve influenza vaccination rates in pediatric and adolescent populations,” said Stockwell.