TUESDAY, Aug. 28, 2018 (HealthDay News) — U.S. pediatricians and family physicians (FPs) have considerable knowledge gaps regarding serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) vaccination, according to a study published online Aug. 20 in Pediatrics.

Allison Kempe, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Colorado in Aurora, and colleagues surveyed 660 pediatricians and FPs via email and the internet to examine practices regarding MenB vaccine delivery.

The researchers found that 51 and 31 percent of pediatricians and FPs, respectively, reported always or often discussing vaccination during routine visits. Vaccination was recommended by 91 percent of those who discussed often or always and by 11 percent of those who never or rarely discussed. Overall, 73 and 41 percent of pediatricians and FPs, respectively, currently administered the MenB vaccine. Factors that increased the likelihood of recommendation included MenB disease outbreaks (89 percent); disease incidence (62 percent); and the effectiveness, safety, and duration of protection of MenB vaccination (52, 48, and 39 percent, respectively); however, the Category B recommendation decreased the likelihood of vaccination (45 percent). The likelihood of discussing MenB vaccine was reduced for those somewhat or not at all aware of the MenB vaccine and those practicing in a health maintenance organization (risk ratios, 0.32 and 0.39, respectively), and was increased for those aware of disease outbreaks in their state (risk ratio, 1.25).

“Primary care physicians have significant gaps in knowledge about MenB disease and the MenB vaccine, and this appears to be a major driver of the decision not to discuss the vaccines,” the authors write.

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