Racial and ethnic disparities in vaccine coverage persisted over the last decade among adults aged 65 years and older, according to a study published online July 29 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Kosuke Kawai, Sc.D., from Boston Children’s Hospital, and Alison Tse Kawai, Sc.D., from RTI Health Solutions in Waltham, Massachusetts, examined trends in adult vaccination coverage in the United States by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status from 2010 to 2019 using data from National Health Interview Surveys.
The researchers found that among adults aged 65 years and older, influenza vaccination coverage differed by race/ethnicity (61.4, 63.9, 71.9, and 72.4 percent for Black, Hispanic, Asian, and White adults, respectively). In a multivariable model, among adults aged 65 years and older, race/ethnicity, household income, education level, and health insurance type were significantly associated with receipt of influenza; pneumococcal; tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis; and zoster vaccinations. From 2010 to 2019, among adults aged 18 to 64 years, socioeconomic differences in influenza vaccine uptake narrowed; however, among adults aged 65 years and older, racial/ethnic and socioeconomic differences in vaccine uptake persisted.
“Although the COVID-19 pandemic is the primary public health concern at the moment, our findings also serve as a reminder of the importance of continuing to strive towards equity in immunization rates for vaccines against other vaccine-preventable diseases,” the authors said in a statement.
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