May 23, 2019
1 min read

Older teens requiring MenACWY booster are likely to remain unvaccinated

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Photo of Samantha Kurosky
Samantha K. Kurosky

Adolescent uptake of meningococcal conjugate vaccine covering serogroups A, C, W and Y, or MenACWY, is lacking among those aged 11 to 18 years, according to research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Researchers suggested that older teens who require a booster dose of the vaccine are less likely to be vaccinated compared with those receiving the initial dose at younger ages.

Samantha K. Kurosky, MSPH, senior director of health economics at RTI Health Solutions, told Infectious Diseases in Children that health care visits centered around preventive care with pediatricians become “fewer and far between” during older adolescence. This, she said, leaves fewer opportunities to vaccinate.

The researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of teens aged 10.5 to 13 years and 15.5 to 18 years who received at least one dose of MenACWY between 2011 and 2016.

During the study period, a greater number of young teenagers were vaccinated with MenACWY (71.7%) compared with older teenagers (48.9%; P < .001). Teens were less likely to be immunized if they were insured through Medicaid (younger = 59.3%; older = 31.8%; P < .001).

In a multivariable analysis, older teens were less likely to be immunized (adjusted OR = 0.68; 95% CI, 0.67-0.69) and were more likely to have a missed opportunity for immunization (aOR = 1.27; 95% CI, 1.25-1.28).

“Increasing MenACWY uptake in older adolescents might benefit from establishing a focused effort for preventive care and vaccination between the ages of 16 and 18 years a time when a child is insured through a parent or guardian or eligible for the Vaccines for Children Program and likely receiving care from a primary care provider,” Kurosky said. “Additionally, coordinating vaccination efforts with providers who do not typically vaccinated adolescents but provide care during this time may improve uptake, particularly among older adolescents who tend to receive a substantial amount of care from nonpediatric providers.” – by Katherine Bortz

Disclosures: Kurosky is an employee of RTI Health Solutions, which was contracted and funded by the GlaxoSmithKline group of companies to perform the study. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.