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Med Care. 2006 Nov;44(11):1054-8.

Lack of ethnic disparities in adult immunization rates among underserved older patients in an urban public health system.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Denver Health, Denver, Colorado, USA.



In some settings, immunization rates for ethnic minorities are less than those of non-Hispanic white populations. This study examines demographic differences in the rate of pneumococcal and influenza immunization in an ethnically diverse older patient population seeking care at an urban primary care clinic system.


The setting is an integrated system of 11 federally qualified community health centers serving approximately 100,000 unduplicated patients annually. We linked data from chart audits performed in 2001-2003 for quality assurance purposes with patient registration data to evaluate vaccination rates in 740 patients age 66 years and older who had at least 3 primary care visits in the previous 2 years.


Factors significantly associated with receipt of pneumococcal vaccination in multivariable analysis were Hispanic ethnicity (odds ratio [OR] 1.66-1.77, P = 0.01), medical comorbidities (OR 1.48, P = 0.03), psychiatric comorbidities (OR 2.0, P = 0.001), use of a family medicine versus internal medicine clinic (OR 2.3, P < 0.001), and age (OR 1.04 for 1 year increase, P = 0.004). Factors significantly associated with influenza vaccination were having insurance (OR 2.25, P = 0.014), medical comorbidities (OR 1.71, P = 0.036), age (OR 1.03 for 1 year increase, P = 0.045), later year of audit (OR 1.68-1.73, P = 0.015), and a greater number of clinic visits (OR 1.69, P = 0.006).


Among older regular users of our public community health centers, minority populations have equal or higher immunization rates compared with non-Hispanic whites.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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