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Keywords:

  • vaccination;
  • nursing home;
  • racial disparity;
  • influenza;
  • NNHS

OBJECTIVES: To determine whether the racial inequity between African Americans and Caucasians in receipt of influenza vaccine is narrower in residents of nursing homes with facility-wide vaccination strategies than in residents of facilities without vaccination strategies.

DESIGN: Secondary data analysis using the National Nursing Home Survey 2004, a nationally representative survey.

SETTING: One thousand one hundred seventy-four participating nursing homes sampled systematically with probability proportional to bed size.

PARTICIPANTS: Thirteen thousand five hundred seven randomly sampled residents of nursing homes between August and December 2004.

MEASUREMENTS: Receipt of influenza vaccine within the last year. Logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between facility-level influenza immunization strategy and racial inequity in receipt of vaccination, adjusted for characteristics at the resident, facility, state, and regional levels.

RESULTS: Overall in the Untied States, vaccination coverage was higher for Caucasian and African-American residents; the racial vaccination gaps were smaller (<6 percentage points) and nonsignificant in residents of homes with standing orders for influenza vaccinations (P=.14), verbal consent allowed for vaccinations(P=.39), and routine review of facility-wide vaccination rates (P=.61) than for residents of homes without these strategies. The racial vaccination gap in residents of homes without these strategies were two to three times as high (P=.009, P=.002, and P=.002, respectively).

CONCLUSION: The presence of several immunization strategies in nursing homes is associated with higher vaccination coverage for Caucasian and African-American residents, narrowing the national vaccination racial gap.