Factors Associated With COVID-19 Non-vaccination in Adolescents Hospitalized Without COVID-19

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Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society


BACKGROUND: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine received emergency use authorization for persons ≥ 16 years in December 2020 and for adolescents 12-15 years in May 2021. Despite the clear benefits and favorable safety profile, vaccine uptake in adolescents has been suboptimal. We sought to assess factors associated with COVID-19 non-vaccination in adolescents 12-18 years of age. METHODS: Between June 1, 2021 and April 29, 2022, we assessed factors associated with COVID-19 non-vaccination in hospitalized adolescents ages 12-18 years enrolled in the Overcoming COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness network. Demographic characteristics and clinical information were captured through parent interviews and/or electronic medical record abstraction; COVID-19 vaccination was assessed through documented sources. We assessed associations between receipt of the COVID-19 vaccine and demographic and clinical factors using univariate and multivariable logistic regression and estimated adjusted odds ratios (aOR) for each factor associated with non-vaccination. RESULTS: Among 1665 hospitalized adolescents without COVID-19, 56% were unvaccinated. Unvaccinated adolescents were younger (median age 15.1 years vs. 15.4 years, p < .01) and resided in areas with higher social vulnerability index (SVI) scores (median 0.6 vs 0.5, p < .001) than vaccinated adolescents. Residence in the Midwest [aOR 2.60 (95% CI: 1.80, 3.79)] or South [aOR 2.49 (95% CI: 1.77, 3.54)] US census regions, rarely or never receiving influenza vaccine [aOR 5.31 (95% CI: 3.81, 7.47)], and rarely or never taking precautions against COVID-19 [aOR 3.17 (95% CI: 1.94, 5.31)] were associated with non-vaccination against COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: Efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccination of adolescents should focus on persons with geographic, socioeconomic, and medical risk factors associated with non-vaccination.

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