Hospital settings represent an opportunity to offer and/or promote childhood vaccination. The purpose of the systematic review was to assess the effectiveness of different hospital-based strategies for improving childhood vaccination coverage.
A systematic search of multiple bibliographic databases, thesis databases, and relevant websites was conducted to identify peer-reviewed articles published up to September 20, 2021. Articles were included if they evaluated the impact of a hospital (inpatient or emergency department)-based intervention on childhood vaccination coverage, were published in English or French, and were conducted in high-income countries. High quality studies were included in a narrative synthesis.
We included 25 high quality studies out of 7,845 unique citations. Studies focused on routine, outbreak, and influenza vaccines, and interventions included opportunistic vaccination (i.e. vaccination during hospital visit) (n = 7), patient education (n = 2), community connection (n = 2), patient reminders (n = 2), and opportunistic vaccination combined with patient education and/or reminders (n = 12). Opportunistic vaccination interventions were generally successful at improving vaccine coverage, though results ranged from no impact to vaccinating 71 % of eligible children with routine vaccines and 9–61 % of eligible children with influenza vaccines. Interventions that aimed to increase vaccination after hospital discharge (community connection, patient education, reminders) were less successful.
Some interventions that provide vaccination to children accessing hospitals improved vaccine coverage; however, the baseline coverage level of the population, as well as implementation strategies used impact success. There is limited evidence that interventions promoting vaccination after hospital discharge are more successful if they are tailored to the individual.