Use of pneumococcal vaccine in people with chronic disease in United States

Hari Krishna Raju Sagiraju, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Objective. The risk of complications and deaths related to pneumococcal infections is high among high risk population (i.e. those with chronic diseases such as diabetes or asthma), despite current immunization recommendations. The aim of this study is to evaluate the use of pneumonia vaccine in adults with and without diabetes or asthma by year of age and whether immunization practices conform to policy recommendations. Methods. Data were drawn from 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Study. Age specific estimated counts and proportions of pneumonia vaccination status were computed. The association of socio-demographic factors with vaccination status was estimated from multiple logistic regression and results were presented for adults (18-64yrs) and elderly (65 or older). Results. Overall 12.3% of the adults and 61.5% of elderly reported ever received pneumonia vaccine. 66.8% of diabetics and 72.6% of asthmatics received the vaccine among elderly. 33.4% of diabetics and 21.6% of asthmatics received the vaccine among adults. These numbers are far away from Healthy people 2010 objective coverage rates of 90% for elderly and 60% for high risk adults. Though diabetes was one of the recommendations for the pneumonia vaccine still the status was less than 70% even at older ages. Although asthma was not an indication for pneumonia vaccine, asthmatics still achieved 50% level by an early age of 60 and reached up to 80% at as early as 75 years. In those having both asthma and diabetes, although the curve reaches to 50% level at a very early age of 40yrs, it is not stable until the age of 55 and percentages reached to as high as 90% in older ages. Odds of receiving pneumonia vaccine were high in individuals with diabetes or asthma in both the age groups. But the odds were stronger for diabetics in adults compared to those in the elderly [2.24 CI (2.08-2.42) and 1.32 CI (1.18-1.47)]. The odds were slightly higher in adults than in elderly for asthmatics [1.92 CI (1.80-2.04) and 1.73 CI (1.50-2.00)].The likelihood of vaccination also differed by gender, ethnicity, marital status, income category, having a health insurance, current employment, physician visit in last year, reporting of good to excellent health and flu vaccine status. Conclusion. There is a very high proportion of high risk adults and elderly that remain unvaccinated. Given the proven efficacy and safety of vaccine there is a need for interventions targeting the barriers for under-vaccination with more emphasis on physician knowledge and practice as well as the recipient attitudes.

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Sagiraju, Hari Krishna Raju, "Use of pneumococcal vaccine in people with chronic disease in United States" (2009). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1467329.