Demographics, perceptions, and socioeconomic factors affecting influenza vaccination among adults in the United States
Abbas, Kaja M.
Kang, Gloria J.
Werre, Stephen R.
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Objective. The study objective is to analyze influenza vaccination status by demographic factors, perceived vaccine efficacy, social influence, herd immunity, vaccine cost, health insurance status, and barriers to influenza vaccination among adults 18 years and older in the United States. Background. Influenza vaccination coverage among adults 18 years and older was 41% during 2010 2011 and has increased and plateaued at 43% during 2016 2017. This is below the target of 70% influenza vaccination coverage among adults, which is an objective of the Healthy People 2020 initiative. Methods. We conducted a survey of a nationally representative sample of adults 18 years and older in the United States on factors affecting influenza vaccination. We conducted bivariate analysis using Rao-Scott chi-square test and multivariate analysis using weighted multinomial logistic regression of this survey data to determine the effect of demographics, perceived vaccine efficacy, social influence, herd immunity, vaccine cost, health insurance, and barriers associated with influenza vaccination uptake among adults in the United States. Results. Influenza vaccination rates are relatively high among adults in older age groups (73.3% among 75Cyear old), adults with education levels of bachelor's degree or higher (45.1%), non-Hispanic Whites (41.8%), adults with higher incomes (52.8% among adults with income of over $150,000), partnered adults (43.2%), non-working adults (46.2%), and adults with internet access (39.9%). Influenza vaccine is taken every year by 76% of adults who perceive that the vaccine is very effective, 64.2% of adults who are socially influenced by others, and 41.8% of adults with health insurance, while 72.3% of adults without health insurance never get vaccinated. Facilitators for adults getting vaccinated every year in comparison to only some years include older age, perception of high vaccine effectiveness, higher income and no out-of-pocket payments. Barriers for adults never getting vaccinated in comparison to only some years include lack of health insurance, disliking of shots, perception of low vaccine effectiveness, low perception of risk for influenza infection, and perception of risky side effects. Conclusion. Influenza vaccination rates among adults in the United States can be improved towards the Healthy People 2020 target of 70% by increasing awareness of the safety, efficacy and need for influenza vaccination, leveraging the practices and principles of commercial and social marketing to improve vaccine trust, confidence and acceptance, and lowering out-of-pocket expenses and covering influenza vaccination costs through health insurance.