Reduction of racial/ethnic disparities in vaccination coverage, 1995-2011

MMWR Suppl. 2014 Apr 18;63(1):7-12.


The Presidential Childhood Immunization Initiative was developed in 1993 to address major gaps in childhood vaccination coverage in the United States. Eliminating the cost of vaccines as a barrier to vaccination was one strategy of the Childhood Immunization Initiative; it led to Congressional legislation that authorized creation of the Vaccines for Children program (VFC) in 1994. CDC analyzed National Immunization Survey data for 1995-2011 to evaluate trends in disparities in vaccination coverage rates between non-Hispanic white children and children of other racial/ethnic groups. VFC has been effective in ireducing disparities in vaccination coverage among U.S. children. CDC's Office of Minority Health and Health Equity selected the intervention analysis and discussion that follows to provide an example of a program that has been effective in reducing childhood vaccination coverage-related disparities in the United States. At its inception in 1994, VFC was implemented in 78 Immunization Action Plan areas that covered the entire United States; within each area, concerted efforts were made to improve childhood vaccination coverage. The findings in this report demonstrate that there have been no racial/ethnic disparities in vaccine coverage for measles-mumps-rubella and poliovirus in the United States since 2005. Disparities in coverage for the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis/diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccine were absent, declining, or inconsistent during this period, depending on the racial/ethnic group examined. The results in this report highlight the effectiveness of VFC.

MeSH terms

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Child, Preschool
  • Continental Population Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ethnic Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Healthcare Disparities / ethnology*
  • Healthcare Disparities / trends
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs / organization & administration*
  • Infant
  • Program Evaluation
  • United States
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*