Increasing Pneumococcal Vaccination Coverage Rates for Seniors in Cerro Gordo County


Impact Statement: 
Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health (CGCDPH) worked to improve immunization rates for both types of pneumococcal vaccine recommended for seniors. Through a multifaceted approach that emphasized increased awareness of the vaccine, CGCDPH raised the rate of immunizations with the newest vaccine by 12%—more than double the initial target of 5%. The community-wide effort also raised provider awareness of the latest adult immunization recommendations and the importance of using the Iowa Immunization Registry Information System (IRIS).

In October 2014, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) began recommending the pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13) vaccine as routine for all adults aged 65 or older, in addition to the pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPSV23) vaccine, which is also recommended for that same age group. The PCV13 vaccination coverage rate for adults aged 65 or older in Cerro Gordo County in 2014 was 4%—not altogether surprising, given the vaccine's newness. On the other hand, the PPSV23 vaccination coverage rate for the same population at the same time was 53%, well below the Healthy People 2020 goal of 90% but clearly much better than the PCV13 rate. CGCDPH began a quality improvement (QI) effort to increase the rates of both types of vaccines in the target age group. Improvement strategies included providing remote access to patient records in influenza vaccine outreach clinics, using visual aids at all influenza vaccine clinics to remind administrative and clinical staff to promote the vaccines, and increasing educational outreach activities to community vaccine providers. Implementing these and other strategies resulted in a 12% increase in PCV13, the newest vaccine, and a level rate of the PPSV23 vaccine. The new strategies will be institutionalized, and the vaccination rates will continue to be monitored.

Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 

Bjorklund, B. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Increasing Pneumococcal Vaccination Coverage Rates for Seniors in Cerro Gordo County. Thu, 03/29/2018 - 14:37. Available at Accessed March 1, 2024.

Submission Status: 
In Progress
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