Examining Vaccine Compliance and Insurance Coverage in Southern California
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (2016), vaccines have been identified as the most effective approach to preventing communicable diseases. However, concerns over vaccine safety have led parents and caregivers to delay or forgo completing vaccines for their children. The World Health Organization (n. d.) has termed the refusal or delay in vaccines despite the availability or access as “vaccine hesitancy.” The aim of this study is to observe if there is a relationship between healthcare insurance coverage and vaccine compliance among kindergarten students in Southern California counties. Additionally, the study examined the relationship between healthcare insurance coverage and vaccine compliance among kindergarten students in Southern California counties and examine if combination shots were associated with overall vaccine compliance. There were two datasets used for the analyses performed: the American Community Survey and the California Department of Public Health Kindergarten Immunization Assessment. A chi-square test for independence test and an independent samples t-test were conducted. Results showed that cities with higher rates of insurance coverage had more kindergarten students meeting compliance rate threshold (t(306) = 3.192, p = .05). Furthermore, kindergarten students who did not meet overall vaccine compliance were 17.7 times more likely to have not completed a combination vaccine series. Programs such as Vaccines for Children and policies like SB 277 improve vaccine compliance but do not address fears and concerns over vaccine safety.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Public Health