Characteristics associated with the uptake of influenza vaccination among adults in the United States

Prev Med. 2012 May;54(5):358-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.03.008. Epub 2012 Mar 20.


Objective: Existing data suggest that influenza vaccination rates among adults in the United States fall far short of the Healthy People 2010 goals and the updated Healthy People 2020 targets. We identified characteristics associated with influenza vaccination that might inform strategies for increasing coverage.

Methods: We used data from the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to estimate adjusted prevalence ratios for receiving the influenza vaccine in the past 12 months.

Results: Among 134,101 adults aged ≥65 years, the influenza vaccination coverage level was 68.9%. Among 286,867 younger adults aged 18-64 years, coverage was markedly lower: 31.8%. Having health care coverage was the strongest predictor of vaccination in both age groups, after accounting for other sociodemographic characteristics, health behaviors, and health status. Those reporting older age, white race, higher education, non-smoking status, being physically active, or having poor physical health or a personal history of various chronic conditions were also more likely to report having received the influenza vaccine.

Conclusion: Our results show clearly that vaccine uptake in the United States is related to social position as well as other health behaviors. These findings call for renewed attention to vaccination strategies to meet the updated Healthy People 2020 goals.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Healthy People Programs
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Insurance Coverage / statistics & numerical data
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Social Class
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*


  • Influenza Vaccines