The CDC analyzed data from the 2010 and 2011 National Health Interview Survey to provide the first update of national vaccine coverage among noninstitutionalized patients with asthma since the new ACIP recommendations. 

RELATED: Immunization Resource Center

Beginning with the 2010–11 influenza season, ACIP expanded its annual vaccination recommendation to include all persons aged ≥6 months, while emphasizing that protection of persons at higher risk for influenza-related complications continue as a focus of vaccination efforts.

Of the total 32,636 responses, 2,809 (8.6%) reported having current asthma. For the 2010–2011 season, vaccination coverage among those with current asthma was 49.6%, compared with 37.5% among those without current asthma (P<0.05).

Among persons with current asthma, vaccination coverage was similar across racial/ethnic and income-to-poverty threshold ratio groups.

In addition, results showed influenza vaccination during the 2010–2011 season among patients with asthma was 50%, an increase from 36% five years earlier. For all age groups, a higher proportion of persons with current asthma received influenza vaccination than those without current asthma (P<0.05).

A higher number of patients with asthma with a usual place for care were vaccinated than those without a usual place for care (52.0% vs. 19.2%; P<0.05). Regardless of asthma status, vaccination coverage was significantly lower among those who could not afford prescription drugs during the past 12 months than for those who could.

This analysis supports previous findings that having more healthcare visits, health insurance coverage, a usual place for health care, and a higher family income are significantly associated with higher vaccination coverage. 

At the same time, more than half of patients with current asthma were found to lack current vaccination which may be due to lack of influenza-related education and vaccination at healthcare visits.

The data indicate a need to increase awareness of the importance of seasonal influenza vaccination in those with asthma, and support multicomponent interventions in efforts to increase vaccination coverage. The Task Force on Community Preventive Services recommends combining one or more of the following:

  • Interventions to enhance vaccination access (eg, reduced client out-of-pocket costs)
  • A provider-based or system-based intervention (eg, provider reminder systems)
  • An intervention to increase client demand for vaccination (eg, client reminders)

Moreover, healthcare professionals can include influenza vaccination recommendations for all patients with current asthma.

For more information call (800) 232-4636 or visit the MMWR page