Date of Conferral
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
Seasonal influenza outbreaks are associated with morbidity and mortality in the United States. Though children are the most susceptible to influenza infection and are most likely to transmit the illness to others, many children are not vaccinated. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between seasonal influenza vaccination Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations, demographic characteristics, socioeconomic factors, and vaccine type among children over 3 consecutive flu seasons. This quantitative cross-sectional study was guided by the social ecology of health model. Secondary data from 3 consecutive flu seasons (2014-2015, 2015-2016, and 2016-2017) provided by the National Health Interview Survey was used for this study. Binary logistic regression and chi-square were used to analyze the data. A relationship between socioeconomic status, demographics (age, race, and family income) and vaccine type (live-attenuated influenza vaccine [LAIV]/inactivated influenza vaccine) was established among U.S. children; those who received LAIV were most likely to be White elementary school age children with a higher family income. Demographic and socioeconomic status was not considered influential in LAIV uptake for race, health insurance status, or family income. ACIP recommendations by age and year had the greatest impact on flu vaccine choice for this sample population. The results of this study can lead to social change by providing information for policy that can increase vaccine uptake, which can result in lower health cost and reduced illness and death rates associated with the flu, especially for those most at risk.