Increasing Adult Vaccination Rates What Works

‘About This Course’ provides an opportunity to learn more about the course and how to meet requirements for continuing education credit. The contents include:

Getting Started

WhatWorks is a program that can be used:

  • As a reference about adult immunization
  • Or as a course with continuing education credit

The primary purpose of WhatWorks is to increase your knowledge about strategies that increase vaccination rates in a setting similar to one in which you work. 

The “Strategies” section challenges you to work through a case study in a setting similar to the one you work in and study the strategies that are proven to work in different situations.  Background information about recommended strategies is provided in Strategies List.

Test Your Vaccination Knowledg and EPI Facts allow you to test yourself.  See how well you do!  If you don’t know something, answers are provided. 

References, Resources, and FAQs are there as a reference for you.  Any time you have questions, you can log onto the site for information.  

Updates allow you to sign up for automatic email notifications when new information is available.

WhatWorks is a program for you to use time and again.  Come back to the site as you need to.

To qualify for continuing education credit, work through the 3 main sections of the course - Test Your Vaccination Knowledge, EPI Facts, and Strategies - but focus on the Strategies section.  


Note: To receive continuing education credit, you must exit WhatWorks and register with CDC’s Training and Continuing Education Online. You will be asked to complete an evaluation; you will then receive your certificate. Click on the Continuing Education link above for more information.

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Program Purpose

Increasing Adult Vaccination Rates: WhatWorks will assist you, the primary care practitioner, in finding ways to increase vaccination rates among your adult patients. This program will expand your understanding of the public health problem of under-immunized adults and present information about effective strategies that you can implement in your practice to increase adult vaccination rates.

This is an interactive, instructional program. The strategies presented in this web-based course are described in the Guide to Community Preventive Services and recommended by the Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Other content includes technical vaccine information which is based on the Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and immunization resource materials which were developed by the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, CDC.  The content for this program was updated through February 2009.

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Increasing Adult Vaccination Rates: WhatWorks is intended for primary care practitioners: physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. The program is also appropriate for other health professionals who are interested in adult immunization and strategies for increasing adult vaccination rates.

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To successfully complete this program and obtain continuing education credit you must meet the following objectives by being able to:

  • Discuss indications for the use of the vaccines routinely given to adults.
  • Describe epidemiological evidence that indicates vaccines are underutilized among adults in the U.S.
  • Describe strategies designed to increase adult vaccination rates.
  • Identify strategies that will work best in different practice settings.
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You should allow approximately 1 to 1.5 hours to complete this activity. The actual time you spend will depend on how much of the supplementary material you review.

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Using the Menu

  • Click on the section title in the center of the main homepage or on the left side of the screen to view the main course topics: Test Your Vaccination Knowledge, Epi Facts, and Strategies to Increase Adult Vaccination Rates.
  • Click on links at the top of the screen to view References, Resources, Updates, Frequently Asked Questions, and About this Course.

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Computer Settings/Printing

Software Requirements

Display Requirements

  • WhatWorks is designed to be viewed at a screen size of no less that 800 x 600.
  • The highest possible color setting should be used (at least 24 bit recommended).
  • Your browser should be set to maximized viewing by clicking on the maximize icon in the top right corner of the browser window.
  • Your Font Size should be set to Small Fonts.
  • WhatWorks uses pop-ups.  Unblock your pop-up blocker to access the complete program.

Internet Connection Requirements

  • A 56k dial-up modem connection is the minimum requirement for viewing WhatWorks.  Internet conditions (i.e., heavy traffic, weather) may adversely affect the performance of any dial-up connection.
  • A high speed connection (i.e., cable, DSL, LAN) is recommended.


  • To print pages use the normal printing method from your browser (usually the key combination Control P or Print under the File menu).
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Section Summary

Test Your Vaccination Knowledge

Test your knowledge of vaccine usage in ten clinical cases presented in this section. This test is a self-evaluation for your use only.

Epi Facts

Review epidemiological information on vaccine-preventable diseases. This section documents the extent of the problem of under-immunized adults in the U.S. The data demonstrate the need for primary care providers to incorporate vaccinating adults into their prevention efforts.

Strategies to Increase Adult Vaccination Rates

Examine strategies that are proven effective in improving adult vaccination rates in different health care settings. For each strategy, you will find information about the advantages and disadvantages associated with the strategy, how to implement it, resources needed, effectiveness of the strategy, and sample documents. Case studies for three different practice settings are presented to allow you to practice applying the strategies to specific situations.


Access the adult immunization schedule, recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), travel vaccinations guidelines, and other vaccine-related resources on the Internet.


Access information about organizations and materials that support adult immunization.


Sign up for a free e-mail service that will notify you by e-mail when new information is available. You can receive updated information on items of interest automatically without having to return to the website to check for changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Link to the Immunization Action Coalition’s “Ask the Experts” to explore immunization questions and answers. These questions are clinical in nature and may assist with immunization issues that occur in your practice. The questions address vaccine usage issues and include such topics as efficacy, indications and contraindications, and schedules.

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  • CDC, our planners and content experts wish to disclose they have no financial interests or other relationships with the manufacturers of commercial products, providers of commercial services or commercial supporters.  
  • Presentations will not include any discussion of the unlabeled use of a product or a product under investigational use.

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Continuing Education Credit Information

How to Register

To receive CE credit, first complete the entire course. Then, go to CDC’s Training and Continuing Education Online to register for this specific course and submit an evaluation. This is found at The Course Number is WB3083.
To register and receive continuing education credit:

  • Go to
  • Login as a participant (Note: the first time you use the online system you will need to login as a new participant and create a participant profile.)
  • Register for this specific course, using the Course Number WB3083
  • Select the type of credit you wish to receive.
  • Complete the evaluation online.
  • Print your continuing education certificate.

At the time you complete the online evaluation you will be required to provide a verification code. The verification code for this course is NT038F.
For assistance with the online system, call (800) 41-TRAIN or (404) 639-1292 Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM Eastern Standard Time or send an e-mail to

General Information

The content for this activity is valid for continuing education credit until August 16, 2011. However, immunization recommendations frequently change. We encourage you to periodically review the CDC website at for updated information.

This product was made possible through a Cooperative Agreement between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research, award number U50/CCU300860.

There are no commercial supporters.

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Content Experts

  • William Atkinson, MD, MPH
    Medical Epidemiologist
  • Raymond A. Strikas, MD
    Medical Epidemiologist
  • Pascale Wortley, MD, MPH
    Medical Epidemiologist
  • Andrew T. Kroger, MD, MPH
    Medical Officer
  • Bette Pollard, MPH, CHES
    Health Education Specialist
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Contact Us

Send questions and comments about this training program to the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:


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Links to nonfederal organizations found at this site are provided solely as a service to our users. These links do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations by CDC or the federal government, and none should be inferred. The CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organizations' websites found at these links.

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Co-Sponsors of this program:

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