Vaccine-preventable infections are serious public health concerns among children and adolescents. This is primarily due to under-immunization with subsequent disease outbreaks and associated high morbidity. Annually, millions of children are diagnosed with avoidable infections, and many more are at increased risk of infection due to chronic health conditions or not being properly vaccinated. To inform future comparative effectiveness research that leads to interventions to increase vaccination and reduce avoidable infectious diseases in children, inclusion of diverse stakeholders with varying areas of expertise and life experience are needed during every phase of the research process.
The primary objective of this proposal is to develop a community coalition board (CCB) of parents, patients, healthcare providers, health department representatives, and school leaders to inform future pediatric infectious disease research and intervention development. Using the principles of community-engaged research, our research team will engage the board in planning, designing, and developing comparative effectiveness research projects to increase community vaccination rates. The CCB will convene monthly meetings over the project period and work closely with the research team to develop the strategic direction of the research program, which includes identifying the most critical pediatric immunizations to address as well as promising individual- and community-level strategies to improve immunization rates. Beyond the Tier I funding period, we will partner with the CCB to refine, implement, and disseminate one or more comparative effectiveness research projects to increase vaccination rates among children and adolescents.