THURSDAY, July 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — As of May 15, 2021, 48.3 percent of U.S. persons aged 16 years and older had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, according to research published in the July 16 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Cassandra Pingali, M.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues assessed disparities in vaccination coverage among persons aged 16 years and older by race and ethnicity during Dec. 14, 2020, to May 15, 2021, using data from the CDC Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD).

The researchers found that among the 9.6 million persons enrolled in the VSD, at-least-one-dose coverage and full coverage was 48.3 and 38.3 percent, respectively. Coverage with at least one dose was lower for non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic versus non-Hispanic White individuals as of May 15, 2021 (40.7 and 41.1 percent, respectively, versus 54.6 percent); coverage was highest for non-Hispanic Asians (57.4 percent). Persons with certain medical conditions that placed them at higher risk for severe COVID-19 had higher coverage with at least one dose than those without such conditions (63.8 versus 41.5 percent), as did those who had not versus those who had had COVID-19 (48.8 versus 42.4 percent). Among all age groups, those aged 18 to 24 years had the lowest at-least-one-dose coverage (28.7 percent).

“Efforts to address vaccine misinformation, barriers to access, and insufficient vaccine confidence, coupled with strategies to prioritize equity, could help increase coverage and reduce COVID-19 incidence, especially among populations disproportionately affected by the pandemic,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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