COVID-19 vaccination rates among US children aged 5 to 17 years varied widely by race as of August 2022, with the highest coverage among Asian youth and the lowest in Black children, underscoring the need for culturally relevant information, according to a study published today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers analyzed data from the National Immunization Survey-Child COVID Module from 94,838 respondents with children 6 months to 17 years old from December 2020 to September 2022.
Booster coverage low
By Aug 31, 2022, 33.2% of all children aged 5 to 11 years, 59.0% of those aged 12 to 15, and 68.6% of 16- to 17-year-olds had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. Uptake was highest among Asian children (range, 63.4% of 5- to 11-year-olds to 91.8% of those 16 to 17 years), followed by Hispanic youth (34.5% to 77.3%).
Coverage among Black and White children aged 12 to 17 were similar, but uptake among Black youth aged 5 to 11 was 4.0 to 33.6 percentage points lower.
The highest coverage was seen among children aged 12 to 17 years, those whose mothers had a college degree and had received at least one vaccine dose, and those whose household earned at least $75,000 a year and usually wore a mask in public in the previous week.
When considering only data collected from Jul 1 to Sep 30, 2022, 47.2% of all youth had received at least one dose, 43.3% completed the primary series, and monovalent booster uptake was 14.7%. Asian children had the highest booster uptake (22.4%), and Black children had the lowest (9.3%). White parents reported the most vaccine hesitancy (40.3%), while Black and Hispanic parents reported the least.
"To address disparities in child and adolescent COVID-19 vaccination coverage, vaccination providers and trusted messengers should provide culturally relevant information and vaccine recommendations and build a higher level of trust among those groups with lower coverage," the authors wrote.