In terms of supply chain factors, vaccination coverage was lower in states where more time was required to order allocated doses. The team noted that time lags in the system may be a function of efficiency or differences in system processes across states, suggesting monitoring and potential system design changes.
For high-risk adults -- those with underlying medical conditions that make them more susceptible to severe outcomes from influenza infection -- coverage ranged from 10 to 47 percent across the country. While the yearly acceptance of seasonal flu vaccination affected the likelihood of H1N1 vaccination for this group as well, the study found that states with a large percentage of individuals medically underserved by health professionals showed lower coverage for H1N1 immunization.
"This shows that the public health issues such as not having enough primary care providers or having high poverty in an area not only have an impact on daily primary care, but also emergency pandemic care as well," said Swann.
Among children aged six months to 17 years, vaccine coverage ranged from a high of 85 percent in Rhode Island to a low of 21 percent in Georgia. In this group, the researchers found that states with a higher percentage of children showed lower vaccination coverage. Conversely, a focus on school vaccination or a high number of doses sent to or administered in public access areas positively impacted the H1N1 vaccine coverage.
"Accounting for the relative size of a state's child population in allocating vaccine could improve vaccination coverage of children, in a scenario where children are targeted, especially if children of some ages require two doses of the vaccine, which was the case with the H1N1 vaccine," said Swann.
In terms of supply chain factors, vacc
|Contact: Abby Vogel Robinson|
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News