Vaccination coverage in the U.S. among foreign-born and U.S.-born adolescents was found to be comparable for all routinely recommended vaccines expect hepatitis B, for which foreign-born adolescents had significantly lower coverage.

To investigate the potential disparities between these groups, researchers used data from the National Immunization Survey-Teen (NIS-Teen) to assess vaccination coverage among adolescents aged 13-17 years old during 2012–2014. The final analysis included 58,090 respondents, 3.3% of which were foreign-born. 

Between U.S.- and foreign-born individuals, coverage was comparable for tetanus and diphtheria toxoids and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine (adjusted coverage 89.8% vs. 90.8%), meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY) vaccine (78.1%% vs. 76.3%), and measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine (91.3% vs. 90.3%). 

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For hepatitis B (≥3 doses) however, foreign-born adolescents had significantly lower coverage rates, 89.6% vs. 92.6% for U.S.-born adolescents, even after adjustments were made for demographic and socioeconomic factors. Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination coverage rates were low among both groups; 33.7% and 37.1% of foreign- and U.S.-born female adolescents had ≥3 doses, respectively. For males, the corresponding figures were 16.4% vs. 13.9%. 

The authors write that these findings highlight the need for a “multifaceted approach to increase coverage, including outreach to remind healthcare providers that their recommendation for vaccination is consistently acknowledged as influential […] and to use each visit as an opportunity for administering age-eligible and catch-up vaccinations.”

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