Racial/Ethnic Differences in Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccination Rates Among Older Adults in New York City and Los Angeles and Orange Counties

Stephanie C. Tse, BS; Laura C. Wyatt, MPH; Chau Trinh-Shevrin, DrPH; Simona C. Kwon, DrPH, MPH


Prev Chronic Dis. 2018;15(12):E159 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Introduction: Disparities in vaccination rates exist among racial/ethnic minority adults. This study examined factors associated with influenza (flu) and pneumococcal vaccination rates among non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, and Asian American adults aged 50 or older living in New York City or Los Angeles and Orange counties in California.

Methods: We used data collected by the REACH US Risk Factor Survey 2009–2012 in New York City and California. We analyzed data on 14,139 adults aged 50 or older who were categorized as non-Hispanic black (New York City [n = 1,715], California [n = 530]), Hispanic (New York City [n = 2,667], California [n = 1,099]), Chinese American (New York City [n = 1,656]), Korean American (New York City [n = 310]), Filipino American (California [n = 1,515]), or Vietnamese American (California [n = 3,435]). Bivariate analyses examined difference across race/ethnicity and location, and multivariable logistic regression models, adjusting for sociodemographic and health variables, examined flu and pneumococcal vaccination rates.

Results: Among adults aged 50 or older, the flu vaccination rate was lower among non-Hispanic black respondents (New York City, 53.3%; California, 40.5%) than among Hispanic (New York City, 61.0%; California, 49.4%), Chinese (New York City, 67.6%), Korean (New York City, 60.5%), Filipino (California, 66.2%), and Vietnamese (California, 68.0%) respondents. Among adults aged 65 or older, pneumococcal vaccination rates were lowest among Chinese and Korean respondents in New York City (51.7% and 49.1%, respectively), compared with non-Hispanic black (New York City, 62.0%, California, 65.6%), Hispanic (New York City, 60.0%; California 62.7%), Filipino (California, 63.4%), and Vietnamese (California, 63.8%) respondents. Older age, having had a checkup in the past year, and diabetes diagnosis were significantly associated with flu and pneumococcal vaccination in both locations. Additional variables were significant for some vaccinations and locations.

Conclusion: When compared with Asian American respondents, non-Hispanic black respondents were least likely to receive the flu vaccine in New York City and California. We found no racial/ethnic differences in pneumococcal vaccination rates. Our findings highlight the need for targeted efforts to increase vaccination rates among racial/ethnic minority older adults.