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2022-12-2 10:35:03

Gaffney A, Himmelstein DU, Dickman S, McCormick D,. Uptake and Equity in Influenza Vaccination Among Veterans with VA Coverage, Veterans Without VA Coverage, and Non-Veterans in the USA, 2019-2020. J Gen Intern Med. 2022 Sep 26:1–8
submited by kickingbird at Sep, 30, 2022 12:23 PM from J Gen Intern Med. 2022 Sep 26:1–8

Background: Vaccination is a primary method of reducing the burden of influenza, yet uptake is neither optimal nor equitable. Single-tier, primary care-oriented health systems may have an advantage in the efficiency and equity of vaccination.

Objective: To assess the association of Veterans´ Health Administration (VA) coverage with influenza vaccine uptake and disparities.

Design: Cross-sectional.

Participants: Adult respondents to the 2019-2020 National Health Interview Survey.

Main measures: We examined influenza vaccination rates, and racial/ethnic and income-based vaccination disparities, among veterans with VA coverage, veterans without VA coverage, and adult non-veterans. We performed multivariable logistic regressions adjusted for demographics and self-reported health, with interaction terms to examine differential effects by race/ethnicity and income.

Key results: Our sample included n=2,277 veterans with VA coverage, n=2,821 veterans without VA coverage, and n=46,456 non-veterans. Veterans were more often White and male; among veterans, those with VA coverage had worse health and lower incomes. Veterans with VA coverage had a higher unadjusted vaccination rate (63.0%) than veterans without VA coverage (59.1%) and non-veterans (46.5%) (p<0.05 for each comparison). In our adjusted model, non-veterans were 11.4 percentage points (95% CI -14.3, -8.5) less likely than veterans with VA coverage to be vaccinated, and veterans without VA coverage were 6.7 percentage points (95% CI -10.3, -3.0) less likely to be vaccinated than those with VA coverage. VA coverage, compared with non-veteran status, was also associated with reduced racial/ethnic and income disparities in vaccination.

Conclusions: VA coverage is associated with higher and more equitable influenza vaccination rates. A single-tier health system that emphasizes primary care may improve the uptake and equity of vaccination for influenza, and possibly other pathogens, like SARS-CoV2.

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