New Publication: Immunization Information Systems Increase Vaccination Rates

A computer keyboard features a key labeled with the word vaccinationThe Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) recommendation for immunization information systems to increase vaccination rates along with the associated systematic and economic reviews were published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice (JPHMP):

Immunization information systems are computerized databases that increase vaccination rates and reduce vaccine-preventable diseases by:

  • Creating or supporting effective interventions such as client reminder and recall systems, provider assessment and feedback, and provider reminders
  • Determining client vaccination status for decisions made by clinicians, health departments, and schools
  • Guiding public health responses to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable disease
  • Informing assessments of vaccination coverage, missed opportunities, invalid dose administration, and disparities in vaccination coverage and
  • Facilitating vaccine management and accountability

The recommendation is based on systematic reviews of the scientific literature conducted with oversight from the Task Force by scientists and subject matter experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with a wide range of government, academic, policy, and practice-based partners. The peer-reviewed article of the systematic review is published in JPHMP; you can find summaries and supporting materials at

How do immunization information systems work?

  • Immunization information systems, or IIS, are confidential, population-based, computerized databases that record all immunization doses administered by participating providers to persons residing within a given geopolitical area (e.g. state or city).
    • At the point of clinical care, IIS can provide consolidated immunization histories for use by a vaccination provider in determining appropriate client (patient) vaccinations.
    • At the population level, IIS provide aggregate data on vaccinations for use in public health surveillance and program operations, and in guiding public health action with the goals of improving vaccination rates and reducing vaccine-preventable disease.
  • In the U.S., minimum functional standards for the operation of immunization information systems were developed in 1997 by the CDC, the National Vaccination Advisory Committee, and immunization program grantees. In 2012, CDC and the IIS community (i.e., IIS managers and other IIS experts) updated the IIS Functional Standards for implementation during the period 2013-2017.

Why is this Task Force recommendation important?

  • Immunizations are among the top ten great public health achievements of the 20th century, for their success in realizing substantial declines in cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and healthcare costs associated with vaccine-preventable diseases (CDC 2011; CDC 1999).
  • Recommended childhood vaccinations that protect against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib), poliovirus, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, varicella, hepatitis A, pneumococcal conjugate, and rotavirus prevent approximately 20 million disease episodes and 42,000 premature deaths, resulting in estimated net savings of $68.8 billion (2009$) from averted medical costs and reduced absenteeism from work (Zhou et al., 2014).
  • Sustaining current vaccination rates and increasing rates for those vaccines below national target levels is needed to maintain the low incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases and to prevent a resurgence of infectious diseases in the U.S. (CDC 2013).
  • Ensuring well-coordinated activities to foster high immunization rates depends on the availability of timely, accurate, and complete information pertaining to vaccinations received by members of a population (Yusuf et al., 2002).
  • Immunization information systems are powerful tools that allow collaboration between vaccination providers and public health agencies to improve clinical services and coordination of population-based interventions.

What are the Task Force and The Community Guide?

  • The Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) is an independent, nonfederal, unpaid panel of public health and prevention experts. The Task Force works to improve the health of all Americans by providing evidence-based recommendations about community preventive programs, services, and policies to improve health. Its members represent a broad range of research, practice, and policy expertise in community prevention services, public health, health promotion, and disease prevention.
  • The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide) is a website that is a collection of all the evidence-based findings and recommendations of the Community Preventive Services Task Force.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National, state, and local area vaccination coverage among children aged 19 35 months United States, 2012. MMWR 2013; 62(36);733-40.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ten great public health achievements United States, 2001-2010. MMWR 2011; 60(19):619-23.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ten great public health achievements United States, 1900-1999. MMWR 1999; 48(12):241-3.

Yusuf H, Adams M, Rodewald L, et al. Fragmentation of immunization history among providers and parents of children in selected underserved areas . American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2002;23(2):106-12.

Zhou F, Shefer A, Wenger J, Messonnier ML, Wang LY, Lopez A, Moore M, Murphy TV, Cortese M, Rodewald L. Economic evaluation of the routine childhood immunization program in the United States, 2009. Pediatrics 2014 April; 133(4); 1-11