Associations between Influenza Vaccination and Health Care Access among Adults in the United States

Vaccines (Basel). 2023 Feb 11;11(2):416. doi: 10.3390/vaccines11020416.


Few studies have investigated the relationship between influenza vaccination and health care access. Furthermore, despite the well-documented disparities in vaccine coverage for communities of color, few studies have examined how experiences of discrimination may influence vaccine uptake. To fill this gap in the literature, this study examined associations between 5-year influenza vaccination rates and sociodemographic characteristics, health care access, and racial discrimination. Age, race/ethnicity, education, health care coverage, primary care provider, no medical care due to cost, and routine doctor checkups were significant correlates of 5-year influenza vaccination. In contrast to previous studies, discrimination scores were not a significant correlate of regular influenza vaccination. Respondents who reported forgoing care due to cost were less likely to report vaccination every year out of the last 5 years compared to all of the less frequent categories combined, demonstrating a more complex association between sometimes not being able to afford medical care and influenza vaccination. Future research should examine the relationship between influenza vaccination uptake, racial discrimination, and forgone care due to cost to enhance resources and messaging for influenza vaccination uptake.

Keywords: health care access; influenza; influenza vaccination; racial discrimination.