Conference Coverage

Analysis finds inconsistent uptake of meningococcal B vaccines


AT PAS 2018

Uptake of the meningococcal B vaccine among 16- to 18-year-olds in Philadelphia County, Pa., varied by provider type and by sociodemographic characteristics, results from a large analysis showed.

“In 2015, two meningococcal B (MenB) vaccines were given a Category B recommendation by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices with a preferred vaccination window of 16-18 years,” researchers led by Kristen A. Feemster, MD, MPH, wrote in an abstract presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting. “Factors that may influence provider recommendation and subsequent uptake of a Category B vaccine are unknown.”

In an effort to identify sociodemographic and provider factors associated with MenB vaccine receipt, Dr. Feemster and her associates conducted a cross-sectional study of 85,789 Philadelphia youth aged 16-18 years who had a record in the KIDS Plus II Philadelphia database between Oct. 31, 2015 and July 31, 2017. They acquired neighborhood-level data from the 2016 U.S. Census American Community Survey. Next, the researchers used multivariate logistic regression to assess the association between MenB series initiation and individual- and neighborhood-level sociodemographic, clinical, and provider characteristics.

Of the 85,789 youth, only 16% received at least one MenB dose, while just 5% completed the series, reported Dr. Feemster, who is medical director of the Immunization Program and Acute Communicable Diseases at the Philadelphia department of public health in the division of disease control. Nearly half of youth (49%) were black or African-American, 25% were white, 5.5% were Asian, while the remainder were from “other” or “unknown” races. A private pediatrician was listed as the provider for 70% of the youth, followed by a community health center (11%), the Philadelphia District Center (7%), and hospitals (2%), while the remaining providers were “other” or “unknown.” The proportion of MenB recipients varied significantly by provider type, from 0.67% to 20%.

On multivariate logistic regression, MenB recipients were more likely to be female (adjusted odds ratio, 1.07; P = .0006); they were also more likely to be up-to-date on human papillomavirus vaccines (AOR, 1.65; P less than .0001) and measles-containing vaccines (AOR, 9.90; P less than .0001).

MenB recipients were more likely to be of “unknown” or “other” reported race, compared with those who were Black/African-American (AOR, 1.36 and 1.24, respectively; P less than .0001) or non-Hispanic/Latino (AOR, 1.21; P less than .0001); they were also more likely to reside in a neighborhood with median household income of greater than $100,000, compared with those who lived in a neighborhood where the median household income is less than $20,000 (AOR, 1.63; P less than .0001). Asian teens (AOR, 0.87; P = .0062) and teens who received care in community (AOR, 0.52; P less than .0001) or district health centers (AOR, 0.03; P less than .0001) also were less likely to receive the MenB vaccine, reported Dr. Feemster, who is also director of research for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Vaccine Education Center, and her colleagues.

“Variation in uptake by race, ethnicity, and neighborhood socioeconomic status suggest potential sociodemographic disparities in MenB receipt, [while] variation by neighborhood socioeconomic status may also suggest financial barriers related to access to care,” the researchers wrote in their abstract. They also speculated that variation in MenB receipt across different providers “may reflect different recommendation practices, perceived need for MenB vaccines in a provider’s patient population, or clinic-level purchasing decisions.”


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