Prof. Dr. Kathrin Boerner

Division for Prevention and Rehabilitation Research
Department of Health Services Research
School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg 

Postal address: 
Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg 
26111 Oldenburg 

Visitor address: 
Campus Haarentor, Building V04
Ammerländer Heerstraße 140
26129 Oldenburg


ALIVE – Improving vaccination uptake among older adults (≥ 60 years)

Scientific project leaders:
Dr. Julia Iwen (Verband der Ersatzkassen e. V.)
Prof. Dr. Lena Ansmann (Head of evaluation by means of primary data)

Operative project leaders:
Dr. Sarah Uthoff
Dr. Anna Zinkevich

Student assistant
Naomi Lampe

Consortium and cooperation partners:
Techniker Krankenkasse, BARMER, DAK-Gesundheit, KKH – Kaufmännische Krankenkasse, hkk – Handelskrankenkasse, HEK – Hanseatische Krankenkasse, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Zentralinstitut für die kassenärztliche Versorgung, Communicationlab Erfurt, Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung, Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Nordrhein, Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Westfalen-Lippe, Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Schleswig-Holstein, Verband medizinischer Fachberufe e.V.

01.08.2021 – 30.04.2025

Funding institution:
Innovation Fund of the Federal Joint Committee

Project description:

With increasing age the immune system becomes slower to respond and more susceptible to infectious diseases. Therefore, severe courses or life-threatening complications from infections occur more frequently. However, the current uptake of the vaccinations recommended for this age group according to the Standing Vaccination Committee (STIKO) in Germany is unsatisfactory. The annual influenza vaccination rate is particularly low in the 60+ age group and far from the rate of 75% recommended by the WHO.

This project develops and assesses a multi-component intervention aimed at increasing vaccination uptake for all STIKO-recommended vaccinations in individuals aged 60 years and older. In particular, the project aims to promote specific vaccination outreach in general practitioners’ (GP) offices, improve patients' vaccination-related health literacy, and, specifically, increase influenza and pneumococcal vaccination rates. In order to achieve this aim, an online training on vaccination communication strategies is being developed for GPs and medical assistants. Additionally, checklists on workflows for vaccination management in primary healthcare and reminder postcards for upcoming vaccination appointments are being provided. The focus is on people with statutory health insurance (insured with a substitute health fund) who visit their GP on their own as well as on nursing home residents. The new care form is being implemented in GP practices in North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein.

The accompanying evaluation study will use a before-and-after design to investigate whether the interventions contribute to an increase in vaccination uptake. In addition, the study will investigate whether the vaccination-related health literacy of patients changes and how GPs and medical assistants evaluate the feasibility and benefits of the intervention components.

If successful, the approach can be implemented nationwide or adapted for other groups (e.g., children or people with chronic diseases).

(Changed: 01 Feb 2024)  | 
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