U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Office of Epidemiology and Research, Rockville MD, United States. Electronic address: email@example.com.
During the 2018-2019 influenza season, vaccination coverage among U.S. children was 62.6%. The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of influenza vaccinations among pediatric patients seen in U.S. health centers, and to explore potential disparities in vaccination coverage among subpopulations. Funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, these health centers provide primary and preventive care to underserved and vulnerable individuals and families in order to reduce health disparities based on economic, geographic, or cultural barriers.
Cross-sectional data, analyzed in 2019, came from the most recent waves of the Health Center Patient Survey (2009, 2014). The sample consisted of children ages 2-17 years receiving care from HRSA-funded health centers. The outcome of interest was self- or parent-reported receipt of influenza vaccine in the past year. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate the adjusted prevalence rate ratios for the association between demographic characteristics (age, sex, race/ethnicity, poverty level, urban/rural residence, geographic region), health-related variables (receipt of well-child check-up, asthma diagnosis), and influenza vaccination.
Influenza vaccination coverage among pediatric health center patients increased from 46.6% in 2009 to 67.8% in 2014. In the adjusted model for 2014, there were few statistically significant differences in vaccination coverage among subpopulation groups, however American Indian/Alaska Native children had 31% increased vaccination coverage compared with non-Hispanic White children (aPRR: 1.31, 95% CI: 1.02-1.60) and children living in the South had 26% decreased vaccination coverage compared with those living in the Northeast (aPRR: 0.74, 95% CI: 0.54-0.93).
Influenza vaccination coverage among pediatric health center patients in 2014 exceeded the national average (as of 2018-2019), and few differences were found among at-risk subpopulations. HRSA-funded health centers are well-positioned to further increase the vaccination rate among children living in underserved communities.