Purpose: To determine the impact of state policies on vaccine coverage among adolescents with managed care insurance.
Methods: We used the 2003 Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set to determine state-specific hepatitis B and varicella vaccine coverage among children with managed care insurance who turned 13 years in 2002. Our outcomes of interest were receipt of hepatitis B and varicella vaccines by age 13. Utilizing weighted least-squares methods, multiple linear regression models were developed to evaluate the relationship between hepatitis B and varicella vaccine coverage and state policies, while controlling for state sociodemographic variables.
Results: Across 28 states, adolescent hepatitis B vaccine coverage ranged from 35.3% to 80.5% (mean = 55.3%) and varicella vaccine coverage ranged from 22.9% to 7.6% (mean = 42.3%). In separate multiple regression models, after adjusting for potentially confounding sociodemographic variables, middle school mandates were significantly associated with hepatitis B vaccine coverage (p = .002) and varicella vaccine coverage (p = .024). Other policies, including universal purchase of vaccines and availability of philosophic exemptions, were not associated with vaccine coverage in this insured population.
Conclusions: In this population of insured adolescents, middle school vaccine mandates were the only state policy associated with improved hepatitis B and varicella vaccine coverage. Mandates are an effective method for promoting adolescent immunization.