This article was originally published here
Am J Infect Control. 2021 Sep 11:S0196-6553(21)00590-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2021.09.003. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Approximately 20,000 people died from influenza in the US in the 2019 – 2020 season. The best way to prevent influenza is to receive the influenza vaccine. Persons who are foreign-born experience disparities in access to, and utilization of, preventative healthcare, including vaccination.
METHODS: National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data were analyzed to assess differences in influenza vaccination coverage during the 2012-13 through 2017-18 influenza seasons among adults by nativity, citizenship status of foreign-born persons, race/ethnicity, and language of the interview.
RESULTS: Influenza vaccination coverage increased significantly during the study period for US-born adults but did not change significantly among foreign-born racial/ethnic groups except for increases among foreign-born Hispanic adults. Coverage for foreign-born adults, those who completed an interview in a non-English language, and non-US citizens, had lower vaccination coverage during most influenza seasons studied, compared with US-born, English-interviewed, and US-citizen adults, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Strategies to improve influenza vaccination uptake must consider foreign-born adults as an underserved population in need of focused, culturally-tailored outreach. Achieving high influenza vaccination coverage among the foreign-born population will help reduce illness among the essential workforce, achieve national vaccination goals, and reduce racial and ethnic disparities in vaccination coverage in the US.