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Study: Low influenza vaccination rates among Detroit kids with asthma

Study: Low influenza vaccination rates among Detroit kids with asthma

Posted on November 1st, 2022

A Wayne State University School of Medicine study shows a low rate of vaccination among children with asthma in Detroit.

Master of Public Health graduate Sarah Parker conducted the investigation for her public health practice capstone project. During the study, she learned less than one-third of the children seen in the emergency department had received the influenza vaccine. Children ages 5 to 11 years old had the lowest influenza vaccination rate.     

"Asthma is a common disease in children that places them at higher risk for complications from influenza, though little research has explored the vaccination rate in this population," Parker said.    

The study found flu vaccination status was associated with race: African American children were less likely to be vaccinated than non-Hispanic white children. The study also found vaccination status could be connected to insurance type too. Children with no insurance or public insurance were less likely to be vaccinated than children with private insurance. 

Of those vaccinated, the study found, most vaccines were administered in a primary care setting with no out-of-pocket costs.   

"The research results suggest the role of education and advocacy for influenza vaccination needs to be further explored in areas where children may lack traditional health care access at primary care offices," said Julie Gleason-Comstock, Ph.D., public health researcher and educator. "Public health professionals with this information can develop initiatives to improve vaccination rates in these higher-risk communities."  

The study "Influenza vaccination coverage among an urban pediatric asthma population: Implications for population health," was published on Oct. 21 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE. 


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