Disparity in Meningococcal Vaccine Uptake Observed Among Adolescent Patients

Factors contributing to reduced uptake of MenACWY were receipt of fewer non-MenACWY vaccines, reduced preventive care visits, and visits to nonpediatric providers.

Uptake of meningococcal vaccine covering serogroups A, C, W, and Y (MenACWY) was found to be significantly higher among younger adolescents compared with older ones, according to findings from a retrospective analysis published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

In order to determine factors associated with the uptake of MenACWY in adolescents, the study authors analyzed healthcare claims submitted to the Commercial Claims and Encounters (CCAE) and Medicaid Marketscan databases between 2011 and 2016. Claims in which receipt of at least 1 MenACWY dose during early adolescence (10.5 to 13 years) and late adolescence (15.5 to 18 years) were analyzed to determine factors associated with vaccination, potential missed opportunities, as well as age group differences.

Results of the study showed a significant difference in the proportion of adolescents who received MenACWY based on age. An analysis of claims obtained from the CCAE database found that 71.7% of younger adolescents received MenACWY compared with 48.9% of older adolescents (P <.001). Data assessment of claims from the Medicaid database revealed a similar discrepancy in the proportion of adolescents who received the vaccine (59.3% of younger adolescents vs 31.8% of older adolescents; P <.001).

Moreover, even after adjusting for variables such as demographics and healthcare utilization, older adolescents were still less likely to receive a MenACWY vaccine (adjusted odds ratio [OR]: 0.68; 95% CI: 0.67, 0.69) and were more likely to have at least 1 missed opportunity for vaccination (adjusted OR: 1.27; 95% CI: 1.25, 1.28) compared with younger adolescents. Factors associated with lower uptake of MenACWY included receipt of fewer non-MenACWY vaccines, decreased visits for preventive care, and increased interaction with nonpediatric providers.

Related Articles

“Missed opportunities and infrequent preventive care encounters contribute to lack of vaccination in younger and older adolescents,” the study authors stated. They added, “However, the disparity in uptake between the two age groups was largely attributable to differences in healthcare utilization, suggesting a need for unique strategies to increase uptake among older adolescents, such as solidifying a vaccination platform for ages 16 to 18 years through encouragement of annual preventive care visits.”

For more information visit jahonline.org.