Kristen A. Feemster, MD, MPH, MSHPR, FAAP

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Kristen A. Feemster, MD, MPH, MSPHR, is Director of Research for the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Areas of Expertise: Epidemiology of vaccine preventable diseases with a focus on community and social factors, Global and domestic vaccine policy, Vaccine hesitancy, Ambulatory healthcare associated respiratory infection and surveillance
Locations: Main Hospital
Appointments and Referrals: 1-800-TRY-CHOP (1-800-879-2467)


Dr. Feemster’s portfolio reflects a longstanding interest in public health and a commitment to improve outcomes for children by addressing contextual factors that may impact disease risk and access to health services. This has resulted in two complimentary foci: 1) understanding how environmental factors, social networks, and community systems affect the epidemiology of infectious diseases; and 2) evaluating policies related to the prevention of pediatric infectious diseases, specifically vaccine policies. Her current research includes vaccine acceptance among parents and immunization providers in the U.S. and internationally, community-based interventions to improve vaccine uptake, neighborhood factors associated with the incidence of pertussis and influenza, and healthcare associated respiratory infection in the pediatric ambulatory setting. This body of work has also demonstrated the importance of understanding the drivers of health-related behaviors and adoption of new recommendations to ensure effective policy implementation. 

At Penn and CHOP, Dr. Feemster is affiliated with the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, PolicyLab, the Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness and Global Health programs at CHOP. She serves as a technical advisor for an American Academy of Pediatrics global immunization advocacy initiative, and is past-chair of the Advisory Commission for Childhood Vaccines that advises the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. In the community, she serves on the boards of the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Immunization Coalitions.

Dr. Feemster received her MD and an MPH in Population and Family Health from Columbia University Schools of Medicine and Public Health in New York City. She completed pediatric residency at CHOP then pursued a dual fellowship training program in health services research and pediatric infectious diseases; she was a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Clinical Scholars Program at Penn, completing a Master of Science degree in Health Policy Research then returned to CHOP for pediatric infectious diseases training. She joined the faculty in 2010.

Education and Training

Medical School

MD - Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY


Pediatrics - The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA


Post-doctoral Fellow - The Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Post-doctoral Fellow - Division of Infectious Diseases, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Board Certification

Pediatric Infectious Diseases – American Board of Pediatrics
Pediatrics – American Board of Pediatrics

Undergraduate Degree

BS - Yale University, New Haven, CT

Graduate Degree

Master of Public Health - Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY

MS in Health Policy Research - University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Titles and Academic Titles

Director of Research, Vaccine Education Center

Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Departments and Services



Selected Papers


Feemster KA. Building vaccine acceptance through communication and advocacy.  Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics.  2020 May 3;16(5): 1004-06.  PMID: 32401681.

Geoghegan S, Feemster KA.  Optimizing Human Papillomavirus immunization: the role of centralized reminder and recall systems.  Pediatrics. 2020 May;145(5):e201935696. PMID: 32253262.

Panozzo CA, Head KJ, Kornides ML, Feemster KA, Zimet GD.  Tailored messages addressing Human Papillomavirus vaccination concerns improves behavioral intent among mothers: a randomized controlled trial.  Journal of Adolescent Health.  2020 Mar 18;S1054-139X(2)30052-5.  PMID: 32199723.

Buttenheim AM, Joyce CM, Ibarra J, Agas J, Feemster KA, Handy LK, Amin AB, Omer SB.  Vaccine exemption requirements and parental vaccine attitudes: an online experiment.  Vaccine.  2020 Mar 4;38(11):2620-25.  PMID: 32057577.

Srivastava T, Emmer K, Feemster KA.  Impact of school-entry vaccination requirement changes on clinical practice implementation and adolescent vaccination rates in metropolitan Philadelphia.  Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics.  2020 May 3;16)5):1155-65.  PMID: 31977274


Kelly MS, Zheng J, Boiditswe S, Steenhoff AP, Feemster KA, Arscott-Mills T, Seme B, Ratshaa B, Rulaganyang I, Patel MZ, Mantzor S, Shah SS, Cunningham CK.  Investigating mediators of the poor pneumonia outcomes of Human Immunodeficiency Virus-exposed but uninfected children.  J Pediatric Infectious Dis Soc. 2019Nov 20.  doi: 10.1093/jpids/pix092. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:29165579

Feemster KA, Localio AR, Grundmeier R, Metlay JP, Coffin SE.  Incidence of healthcare-associated influenza-like illness after a primary care encounter among children.  Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.   2019 Jul 1;8(3):191-196. PMID: 29579251.

Fawole OA, Srivastava T, Fasano C, Feemster, KA.  Evaluating variability in immunization requirements and policy among U.S. colleges and universities.  J Adolescent Health 2018 Sep; 63(3): 286-92. PMID: 30236997.

Patel SM, Spees L, Smieja M, Luinstra K, Steenhoff AP, Feemster KA, Arscott-Mills T, Boiditswe S, Patel MZ, Shah SS, Cunningham CK, Kelly MS. Predictors of poor outcomes among infants with respiratory syncytial virus-associated acute lower respiratory infection in Botswana. Ped Infect Dis J.  2019 May;38(5):525-527. PMID: 30543564.

Mohanty S, Buttenheim AM, Feemster KA, Moser CA, Filed RI, Yudell M, Turchi, R, Carroll-Scott A.  Pediatricans’ vaccine attitudes and practices before and after a major measles outbreak.  J of Child Health Care.  2019 Jun;23(2):266-2772018 July 15. PMID: 30009615

Sandler K, Srivastava T, Fawole OA, Fasano C, Feemster KA.  Understanding vaccine knowledge, attitudes and decision-making through college student interviews.  J of American College Health.  2019 Mar 25:1-8.  PMID: 30908142.

Enane LA, Sullivan KV, Spyridakis E, Feemster KA.  Clinical impact of malaria rapid diagnostic testing at a US children’s hospital.  J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc.  2019 Apr 16.  pii: piz022. doi: 10.1093/jpids/piz022. [Epub ahead of print].  PMID:30989220

Katsuta T, Moser CA, Offit PA, Feemster KA.  Japanese physicians’ attitudes and intentions regarding human papillomavirus vaccine compared with other adolescent vaccines.  Papillomavirus Res.  2019 Apr 30;7:192-300. PMID: 31051270.

Agawu A, Hanlon AL, Buttenheim AM, Song L, Fiks AG, Feemster KA.  Disparities in HPV vaccine series completion by adolescent males: a retrospective cohort study.  Acad Pediatr. 2019 May 17.   pii: S1876-2859(19)30128-7. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2019.05.002. [Epub ahead of print].  PMID: 31108236.

Patel SM, Jallow S, Boiditswe S, Madhi SA, Feemster KA, Steenhoff AP, Arscott-Mills T, Muthoga C, Ajibola G, Shapiro R, Shah SS, Cunningham CK, Kelly MS. Placental Transfer of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Antibody among HIV-Exposed, Uninfected Infants. J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2019 Sep 24. pii: piz056. doi: 10.1093/jpids/piz056. [Epub ahead of print].  PMID: 31549157.

Fawole OA, Srivastava R, Feemster KA.  Student health administrator perspectives on college vaccine policy development and implementation.  Vaccine. 2019 Jul 9; 37(30):4118-23. PMID: 31164307.

Caplan H, Srivastava T, Feemster KA.  Perspectives on state vaccine education mandate policy and implementation among public health department officials: a qualitative study.  Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics.  2019 Aug 19. DOI: 10.1080/21645515.2019.1654352.  PMID: 31424331.

Mohanty S, Delamater P, Feemster K, Buttenheim AM.  8 months to 5 days: What happened when Pennsylvania changed vaccination regulations for provisional enrollment?  Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2019 Sep 30. doi: 10.1080/21645515.2019.1673120. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 31567048.

Laizane G, Smane L, Nokalna I, Gardovska D, Feemster KA.  Rotavirus-associated seixures and reversible corpus callosum lesion.  Acta Med Litu. 2019;26(2):113-117. doi: 10.6001/actamedica.v26i2.4031. PMID:31632185.

Abu-Raya B, Goldfarb DM, Smieja M, Luinstra K, Rchard-Greenblatt M, Steenhoff AP, Feemster KA, Arscott-Mills T, Cunningham CK, Shah SS, Patel MZ, Kelly MS, Sadarangani M.  The prevalence and clinical characteristics of pertussis-associated pneumonia among infants in Botswana.  BMC Pediatrics. 2019 Nov 16; 19(1):444.  PMID: 31733643.

Finkelstein SR, Boland WA, Vallen B, Connell PM, Sherman GD, Feemster KA.  Psychological reactance impacts ratings of pediatrician vaccine-related communication quality, perceived vaccine safety, and vaccination priority among U.S. parents.  Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics. 2019 Dec 12: 1-6.  PMID: 31738632.

Feemster KA, Szipszky C.  Resurgence of measles in the United States: how did we get here?  Current Opinion in Pediatrics. 2019 Nov 26. [Epub ahead of print].  PMID: 31790030.


Mitchell SL, Chang YC, Feemster K, Cardenas AM.  Implementation of a rapid influenza A/B and RSV direct molecular assay improves emergency department oseltamivir use in pediatric patients.  J Med Microbiology.  2018 Mar;67(3): 358-63. PMID: 29458688

Kelly MS, Surette MG, Smieja M, Rossi L, Luinstra K, Steenhoff AP, Goldfarb DM, Pernica JM, Arscott-Mills T, Boiditswe S, Mazhani T, Rawls JF, Cunningham CK, Shah SS, Feemster KA*, Seed PC*. Pneumococcal colonization and the nasopharyngeal microbiota of children in Botswana. Ped Infect Dis J.  2018 Nov;37(11):1176-1183. PMID: 30153231. *these authors contributed equally to this work

Mohanty S, Carroll-Scott A, Wheeler M, Davis-Hayes C, Turchi R, Feemster, KA, Yudell M, Buttenheim AM.  Vaccine hesitancy in pediatric primary care practices.  Qual Health Research.  2018 Nov;28(13):2071-2080.  PMID: 29947574


Handy LK, Bryan M, Gerber JS, Zaoutis T, Feemster KA.  Variability in antibiotic prescribing for community-acquired pneumonia.  Pediatrics. 2017 Mar 7. pii: e20162331. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-2331. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 28270546.

Mohanty S, Feemster KA, Buttenheim A, Moser CA, Field RI, Mayer W, Carroll-Scott A.  Factors associated with pediatrician responses to alternative immunization schedule requests.  Clinical Pediatrics.  Published online February 1, 2017. DOI: PMID: 28952327.

Handy L, Maroudi S, Powell M, Nfila B, Moser C, Japa I, Monyatsi N, Tzortzi E, Kouzeli I, Luberti A, Theordoridou M, Offit P, Steenhoff A, Shea JA, Feemster KA.  The impact of access to immunization information on vaccine acceptance in three countries. PLoS One. 2017 Aug 3;12(8):e0180759. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0180759. eCollection 2017. PMID: 28771485.

Katsuta T, Miyaji Y, Feemster KA, Offit P. Treatment with the quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine for juvenile-onset recurrent respiratory papillomatosis: a case report. Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. 2017 Aug 8. doi: 10.1093/jpids/pix063. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID:28992265.


Feemster KA, Odeniyi F, Localio AR, Grundmeier R, Coffin SE, Metlay JP.  Surveillance for Healthcare-associated Influenza-like illness in Pediatric Clinics: Validation of Diagnosis Codes for Case Identification.  Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. 2016 Oct;37(10):1247-50. doi: 10.1017/ice.2016.147. Epub 2016 Jul 15. PMID: 27418404.

Burson RC, Buttenheim A, Armstrong A, Feemster KA.  Community pharmacies as sites of adult vaccination: A systematic review.  Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics 2016 Dec;12(12):3146-3159. doi: 10.1080/21645515.2016.1215393. Epub 2016 Aug 15. PMID: 27715409


Buttenheim AM, Fiks AG, Burson Ii RC, Wang E, Coffin SE, Metlay JP, Feemster KA. A behavioral economics intervention to increase pertussis vaccination among infant caregivers: a randomized feasibility trial.  Vaccine. 2015 Dec 10. pii: S0264-410X(15)01749-1. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.11.068. [Epub ahead of print].  PMID: 26686571.

Kelly MS, Smieja M, Luinstra K, Wirth KE, Goldfarb DM, et al. Association of respiratory viruses with outcomes of severe childhood pneumonia in Botswana. PloS one. 2015; 10(5):e0126593.

Feemster KA. Remembering the Benefits of Vaccination. JAMA Pediatr. 2015;169(7):624-626. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.0647. Read the article.

Kestenbaum LA, Feemster KA. Identifying and addressing vaccine hesitancy. Pediatric annals. 2015; 44(4):e71-5. NIHMSID: NIHMS696931

Kelly MS, Wirth KE, Madrigano J, Feemster KA, Cunningham CK, et al. The effect of exposure to wood smoke on outcomes of childhood pneumonia in Botswana. The international journal of tuberculosis and lung disease : the official journal of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. 2015; 19(3):349-55. NIHMSID: NIHMS665256


Feemster KA, Middleton M, Fiks AG, Winters S, Kinsman SB, et al. Does intention to recommend HPV vaccines impact HPV vaccination rates? Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics. 2014; 10(9):2519-26.

Mayne SL, duRivage NE, Feemster KA, Localio AR, Grundmeier RW, et al. Effect of decision support on missed opportunities for human papillomavirus vaccination. American journal of preventive medicine. 2014; 47(6):734-44. NIHMSID: NIHMS625237

Szymczak JE, Feemster KA, Zaoutis TE, Gerber JS. Pediatrician perceptions of an outpatient antimicrobial stewardship intervention. Infection control and hospital epidemiology. 2014; 35 Suppl 3:S69-78.

Feemster KA Delay in measles vaccination is associated with increased risk of post-vaccination seizures. The Journal of pediatrics. 2014; 164(3):674.

Opel DJ, Feemster KA, Omer SB, Orenstein WA, Richter M, et al. A 6-month-old with vaccine-hesitant parents. Pediatrics. 2014; 133(3):526-30.

Feemster KA, Offit P. "Compassionate use" for public health. Annals of internal medicine. 2014; 160(6):421-2.

Kuncio DE, Middleton M, Cooney MG, Ramos M, Coffin SE, et al. Health care worker exposures to pertussis: missed opportunities for prevention. Pediatrics. 2014; 133(1):15-21.


Feemster KA. Can building evidence move a persistent vaccine safety concern? Pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety. 2013; 22(12):1271-3.

Feemster KA, Offit P. Delaying vaccination is not a safer choice. JAMA pediatrics. 2013; 167(12):1097-8.

Fiks AG, Grundmeier RW, Mayne S, Song L, Feemster K, et al. Effectiveness of decision support for families, clinicians, or both on HPV vaccine receipt. Pediatrics. 2013; 131(6):1114-24.

Feemster KA. Overview: special focus vaccine acceptance. Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics. 2013; 9(8):1752-4.


Feemster, KA. Vaccines: What Everyone Needs to Know, 1st Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.


Feemster KA, Fein J. Influenza. In: Schwartz MW, Bell LM, Bingham PM, et al., eds. 5-Minute Pediatric Consult, 7th Edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2015.

Feemster KA. Vaccine Adverse Events. In: Schwartz MW, Bell LM, Bingham PM, et al., eds. 5-Minute Pediatric Consult, 7th Edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2015.

Feemster KA, Fein J. Influenza. In: Schwartz MW, Bell LM, Bingham PM, et al., editors. 5Minute Pediatric Consult. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008.

Feemster KA, Winters SE, Lavelle 1. Human Papillomavirus. In: Schwartz MW, Bell LM, Bingham PM, et al., editors. 5-Minute Pediatric Consult. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008.

Editorial and Academic Positions

Editorial Positions

2013-Present, Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics, Associate Editor
2012-13, Special Focus on Vaccine Acceptance, Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics, Guest Editor


2013-present, JAMA Pediatrics
2012, Cochrane Protocol: Interventions for informing/educating parents about early childhood vaccination.  
2012-present, Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society
2011-present, Vaccine
2010-present, Pediatric Emergency Care
2008-present, Academic Pediatrics
2008-present, Pediatrics
2008-present, Journal of Adolescent Health