Study Indicates Disparities in Receipt of Booster Vaccine Doses Among U.S. Adults

COVID-19 booster vaccine can strengthen waning immunity and widen the range of immunity against new variants. Agaku, et al. (2022) sought to describe geographic, occupational, and sociodemographic variations in uptake of COVID-19 booster doses among fully vaccinated U.S. adults.

This cross-sectional survey study used data from the Household Pulse Survey conducted from Dec. 1, 2021, to Jan. 10, 2022. Household Pulse Survey is an online, probability-based survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and is designed to yield estimates nationally, by state, and across selected metropolitan areas.

Receipt of a booster dose was defined as taking two or more doses of COVID-19 vaccines with the first one being the Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) vaccine, or taking three or more doses of any of the other COVID-19 vaccines. Weighted prevalence estimates (percentages) were computed overall and among subgroups. Adjusted prevalence ratios (APRs) were calculated in a multivariable Poisson regression model to explore correlates of receiving a booster dose among those fully vaccinated.

A total of 135,821 adults completed the survey. Overall, 51.0% were female and 41.5% were aged 18 to 44 years (mean [SD] age, 48.07 [17.18] years). Of fully vaccinated adults, the percentage who reported being boosted was 48.5% (state-specific range, from 39.1% in Mississippi to 66.5% in Vermont). Nationally, the proportion of boosted adults was highest among non-Hispanic Asian individuals (54.1%); those aged 65 years or older (71.4%); those with a doctoral, professional, or master’s degree (68.1%); those who were married with no children in the household (61.2%); those with annual household income of $200 000 or higher (69.3%); those enrolled in Medicare (70.9%); and those working in hospitals (60.5%) or in deathcare facilities (eg, funeral homes; 60.5%). Conversely, only one-third of those who ever received a diagnosis of COVID-19, were enrolled in Medicaid, working in pharmacies, with less than a high school education, and aged 18 to 24 years old were boosted. Multivariable analysis of pooled national data revealed that compared with those who did not work outside their home, the likelihood of being boosted was higher among adults working in hospitals (APR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.17-1.30), ambulatory healthcare centers (APR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.09-1.24), and social service settings (APR, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.01-1.15), whereas lower likelihood was seen among those working in food or beverage stores (APR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.74-0.96) and the agriculture, forestry, fishing, or hunting industries (APR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.72-0.97).

These findings suggest continuing disparities in receipt of booster vaccine doses among U.S. adults. Targeted efforts at populations with low uptake may be needed to improve booster vaccine coverage in the U.S., the researchers say.

Reference: Agaku IT, et al. Geographic, Occupational, and Sociodemographic Variations in Uptake of COVID-19 Booster Doses Among Fully Vaccinated US Adults, December 1, 2021, to January 10, 2022. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(8):e2227680. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.27680