HealthDay News — Racial/ethnic disparities are seen in COVID-19 vaccination coverage among children and adolescents, according to research published in the Jan. 6 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Madeleine R. Valier, M.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined data from the National Immunization Survey-Child COVID Module to describe racial and ethnic differences in vaccination status among children aged 5 to 17 years.
The researchers found that 33.2 percent of children aged 5 to 11 years, 59.0 percent of those aged 12 to 15 years, and 68.6 percent of those aged 16 to 17 years had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose by Aug. 31, 2022. Non-Hispanic Asians had the highest vaccination coverage, ranging from 63.4 to 91.8 percent for those aged 5 to 11 years and 16 to 17 years, respectively. The next highest coverage was seen for Hispanic or Latino children and adolescents (ranging from 34.5 to 77.3 percent). For children and adolescents aged 12 to 15 and 16 to 17 years, similar coverage was seen for non-Hispanic Black or African American, non-Hispanic White, and non-Hispanic other race or multiple race. Coverage was lower among Black than Hispanic, Asian, and other/multiple race children for those aged 5 to 11 years.
“Programs should provide culturally relevant information and employ evidence-based strategies, including tailored messages delivered by trusted messengers and strong recommendations from vaccination providers, to increase vaccine confidence and coverage among all groups, and to eliminate the disparities for those with lower vaccination coverage,” the authors write.