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Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children. Children with asthma are at high risk for complications from influenza; however annual influenza vaccination rates for this population are suboptimal. The overall aim of this study was to describe the characteristics of a high-risk population of children with asthma presenting to an urban pediatric emergency department according to influenza vaccination status.

The study was a retrospective chart review of 4355 patients aged 2 to 18 years evaluated in a Michigan pediatric emergency department (PED) between November 1, 2017 and April 30, 2018 with an ICD-10-CM code for asthma (J45.x). Eligible patient PED records were matched with influenza vaccination records for the 2017–2018 influenza season from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry. Geospatial analysis was employed to examine the distribution of influenza vaccination status.

1049 patients (30.9%) with asthma seen in the PED had received an influenza vaccine. Influenza vaccination coverage varied by Census Tract, ranging from 10% to > 99%. Most vaccines were administered in a primary care setting (84.3%) and were covered by public insurance (76.8%). The influenza vaccination rate was lowest for children aged 5–11 years (30.0%) and vaccination status was associated with race (p<0.001) and insurance type (p<0.001).

Identification of neighborhood Census Tract and demographic groups with suboptimal influenza vaccination could guide development of targeted public health interventions to improve vaccination rates in high-risk patients. Given the morbidity and mortality associated with pediatric asthma, a data-driven approach may improve outcomes and reduce healthcare-associated costs for this pediatric population.


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health Policy | Maternal and Child Health | Urban Studies | Urban Studies and Planning


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