Persistent racial and ethnic disparities in flu vaccination coverage: Results from a population-based study

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Abstract

Background

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends annual flu vaccination for all adults. We aimed to identify predictors of receiving a flu vaccination, with an emphasis on the impact of race and ethnicity.

Methods

We used data from the 2011-2012 California Health Interview Survey and included all individuals aged ≥18 years. We performed a survey-weighted logistic regression on receipt of flu vaccination within the last year, adjusted by demographic and socioeconomic variables, and calculated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results

Our study included a population-weighted sample of 27,796,484 individuals. Overall, 35.8% received a flu vaccination within the last year. Blacks were 33% less likely (95% CI, 21%-43%) to have been vaccinated than whites. Conversely, Koreans (OR, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.35-2.33) and Vietnamese (OR, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.19-2.07) were more likely than whites to have been vaccinated. No differences were seen between whites and the remaining racial and ethnic groups (Latino, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, South Asian, Asian other, and other).

Conclusions

Racial and ethnic disparities in flu vaccination uptake exist in California. Namely, blacks have lower vaccination rates than whites, and there are disparate vaccination rates among the Asian-American subgroups. Efforts to increase vaccination rates among these groups are needed.

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