Since The Start Of The Vaccines For Children Program Uptake Has Increased And Most Disparities Have Decreased
Author: Brendan Walsh, Edel Doherty, Ciaran O’Neill
The Vaccines for Children program is a US government intervention aimed at increasing vaccination uptake by removing financial barriers that may prevent US children from accessing vaccinations. This study examined the impact that this intervention had on race and ethnicity–related and income-related disparities for diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis, measles-mumps-rubella, and polio vaccinations, using data from the National Immunization Survey, 1995–2013. Vaccination rates increased across all races, ethnicities, and income groups following the introduction of the Vaccines for Children program. Disparities among race and ethnic groups narrowed considerably over time since the introduction of the vaccine program, although income-related disparities changed at different rates within racial and ethnic groups and in some cases increased. Government interventions aimed solely at reducing certain financial barriers to vaccination may fail to address other important aspects of cost or perceived benefits that influence vaccination uptake, especially among poorer children.