Racial/ethnic disparities in preschool immunizations: United States, 1996-2001

Am J Public Health. 2004 Jun;94(6):973-7. doi: 10.2105/ajph.94.6.973.


Objectives: We examined current racial/ethnic differences in immunization coverage rates among US preschool children.

Methods: Using National Immunization Survey data from 1996 through 2001, we compared vaccination coverage rates between non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, and Asian preschool children.

Results: During the 6-year study period, the immunization coverage gap between White and Black children widened by an average of 1.1% each year, and the gap between White and Hispanic children widened by an average of 0.5% each year. The gap between White and Asian children narrowed by an average of 0.8% each year.

Conclusions: Racial/ethnic disparities in preschool immunization coverage rates have increased significantly among some groups; critical improvements in identifying, understanding, and addressing race/ethnicity-specific health care differences are needed to achieve the Healthy People 2010 goal of eliminating disparities.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Continental Population Groups*
  • Data Collection
  • Ethnic Groups*
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Immunization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Immunization / trends
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Social Class
  • Social Justice*
  • United States