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Racial and ethnic disparities in vaccination coverage among adult populations in the U.S.

Lu, Peng-jun, O’Halloran, Alissa, Williams, Walter W., Lindley, Megan C., Farrall, Susan, Bridges, Carolyn B.
Vaccine 2015 v.33 pp. D83
Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Whites, adults, childhood, education, ethnic differences, health insurance, humans, influenza, papilloma, public health, regression analysis, socioeconomic factors, surveys, tetanus, vaccination, vaccines, viruses, United States
Reducing racial/ethnic disparities in immunization rates is a compelling public health goal. Disparities in childhood vaccination rates have not been observed in recent years for most vaccines. The objective of this study is to assess adult vaccination by race/ethnicity in the U.S.The 2012 National Health Interview Survey was analyzed in 2014 to assess adult vaccination by race/ethnicity for five vaccines routinely recommended for adults: influenza, tetanus, pneumococcal (two vaccines), human papilloma virus, and zoster vaccines. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to identify factors independently associated with all adult vaccinations.Vaccination coverage was significantly lower among non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic Asians compared with non-Hispanic whites, with only a few exceptions. Age, sex, education, health insurance, usual place of care, number of physician visits in the past 12 months, and health insurance were independently associated with receipt of most of the examined vaccines. Racial/ethnic differences narrowed, but gaps remained after taking these factors into account.Racial and ethnic differences in vaccination levels narrow when adjusting for socioeconomic factors analyzed in this survey, but are not eliminated, suggesting that other factors that are associated with vaccination disparities are not measured by the National Health Interview Survey and could also contribute to the differences in coverage. Additional efforts, including systems changes to ensure routine assessment and recommendations for needed vaccinations among adults for all racial/ethnic groups, are essential for improving vaccine coverage.