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Adult Vaccination Disparities Among Foreign-Born Populations in the U.S., 2012

Published:October 06, 2014DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2014.08.009

      Background

      Foreign-born persons are considered at higher risk of undervaccination and exposure to many vaccine-preventable diseases. Information on vaccination coverage among foreign-born populations is limited.

      Purpose

      To assess adult vaccination coverage disparities among foreign-born populations in the U.S.

      Methods

      Data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey were analyzed in 2013. For non-influenza vaccines, the weighted proportion vaccinated was calculated. For influenza vaccination, Kaplan–Meier survival analysis was used to assess coverage among individuals interviewed during September 2011–June 2012 and vaccinated in August 2011–May 2012.

      Results

      Overall, unadjusted vaccination coverage among U.S.-born respondents was significantly higher than that of foreign-born respondents: influenza, age ≥18 years (40.4% vs 33.8%); pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV), 18–64 years with high-risk conditions (20.8% vs 13.7%); PPV, ≥65 years (62.6% vs 40.5%); tetanus vaccination, ≥18 years (65.0% vs 50.6%); tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap), ≥18 years (15.5% vs 9.3%); hepatitis B, 18–49 years (37.2% vs 28.4%); shingles, ≥60 years (21.3% vs 12.0%); and human papilloma virus (HPV), women 18–26 years (38.7% vs 14.7%). Among the foreign born, vaccination coverage was generally lower for non-U.S. citizens, recent immigrants, and those interviewed in a language other than English. Foreign-born individuals were less likely than U.S.-born people to be vaccinated for pneumococcal (≥65 years), tetanus, Tdap, and HPV (women) after adjusting for confounders.

      Conclusions

      Vaccination coverage is lower among foreign-born adults than those born in the U.S. It is important to consider foreign birth and immigration status when assessing vaccination disparities and planning interventions.
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