In January 2005, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration licensed a new tetravalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4). Before any policy decisions by the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) related to MCV4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requested a study to explore the perspective of primary care physicians regarding different recommendation scenarios for use of MCV4. Cross-sectional mail survey of a national random sample of pediatricians (PDs) and family physicians (FPs), conducted January 2005. Respondents chose from four MCV4 recommendation scenarios in terms of ability to implement, perceived patient/parent preferences, scientific evidence, and overall best fit. Response rate to the single-mailing survey was 57%. In terms of ability to implement, respondents generally preferred an MCV4 recommendation targeted to middle-school entry (11-12 years old) or with the Td booster at any age, but on the basis of scientific evidence they favored MCV4 at high school completion. For "overall best fit," relatively equal proportions of respondents favored a recommendation at middle school entry and one linked to Td booster administration (whenever it occurred); there were no significant differences between PDs and FPs. Major influences on willingness to recommend MCV4 were vaccine safety/side effects and insurance coverage/reimbursement. Support for an MCV4 recommendation at middle school entry is common but not universal among primary care providers. Data suggest that respondents appreciate the potential discrepancy between practical aspects of vaccine delivery and the need to protect those adolescents at greatest risk of disease. Respondents' preferences for the overall best fit appear to prioritize ease of implementation over epidemiologic patterns.

DOI 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2006.08.009