cell phone picture


·Elyse Olshen Kharbanda
·Melissa Stockwell

Vaccines have been heralded as one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. Historically many new vaccines have focused on younger children, yet in the past few years, three new vaccines targeting pertussis, meningitis, and the human papilloma virus have been introduced to the routine immunization schedule for adolescents. The Text4Health-Adolescent program used text messages to help remind parents when their adolescent child was due for specific vaccinations.

In the first study, parents of adolescent girls who received the first or second dose of the HPV vaccine could sign up to have text message reminders sent to their cell phone when their daughter was due for the second or third doses in the series. In the second study, parents of adolescents who need either the vaccine against whooping cough (pertussis)or meningitis were texted.

The Text4Health program was selected to be part of the Promising Practice Network. The Promising Practices Network (PPN) is a user-friendly website operated by the RAND Corporation that provides evidence-based information on child, youth, and family policy.


1. Text4Health: Impact of Text Message Reminder-Recalls for Pediatric and Adolescent Immunizations. Stockwell MS, Kharbanda EO, Martinez RA, Lara M, Vawdrey D, Natarajan K, Rickert VI.Am J Public Health. 2012 Feb;102(2):e15-e21

2. Text message reminders to promote human papillomavirus vaccination. Kharbanda EO, Stockwell MS, Fox HW, Andres R, Lara M, Rickert VI. Vaccine. 2011 Mar 21;29(14):2537-41

3. Text4Health: a qualitative evaluation of parental readiness for text message immunization reminders. Kharbanda EO, Stockwell MS, Fox HW, Rickert VI. Am J Public Health. 2009 Dec;99(12):2176-8

This study was a federally funded grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Research Program, R40MC08961

PI: Dr. Melissa Stockwell

Logo: Promising Practices Network