Children of Single Women Less Likely to Be Fully Vaccinated

Those with married mothers and continuous primary care have higher immunization rates

MONDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Even with the same insurance and continuity of care, children of women who have never been married have lower immunization coverage than do children of married women, researchers report in the February supplement of Pediatrics.

Norma J. Allred, Ph.D., of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed demographic and vaccination data from interviews with 5,400 parents of 19- to 35-month-old children.

Always-insured children had higher vaccination coverage (83 percent) than those with lapses or who were uninsured in the past year (75 percent and 71 percent, respectively). Those with continuous primary care had higher coverage than those who did not (83 percent compared to 75 percent, respectively). This association was seen for insurance status and medical home, but the only significant association was for children of never-married women, who had lower coverage (74 percent) compared with children of married women (84 percent).

"Public health interventions that can educate parents, especially unmarried mothers, about government programs such as Medicaid, Vaccines for Children, and state child health insurance that can assist them in getting preventive care services such as well-child visits and vaccinations for their child should be a public health priority," the authors conclude.

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