restricted access Pneumococcal Vaccination in Low-Income Latinos: An Unexpected Trend in Oregon Community Health Centers


Background. In cross-sectional studies, Latino and Spanish-speaking U.S. residents age 65 and over are less likely to receive pneumococcal vaccination than non-Hispanic Whites.

Methods. We performed a time-to-event, cohort analysis, in 23 Oregon community health centers of low-income patients who turned 65 in the study period (2009–2013; n = 1,248). The outcome measure was receipt of PPSV-23 in the study period by race / ethnicity, preferred language, and insurance status.

Results. Insured Latino patients were more likely to receive PPSV-23 than insured non-Hispanic Whites (HR = 2.05, p < .001). Uninsured Latino seniors showed no difference from insured non-Hispanic Whites in PPSV-23 receipt (HR = 1.26, p = .381) unless they averaged fewer than one clinic visit yearly (HR = 1.80, p = .001).

Conclusions. Low-income Latino seniors in Oregon community health centers were immunized against pneumococcus more frequently than insured non-Hispanic Whites, although this finding was mitigated in Latinos without insurance. This finding needs further research in order to reduce adult immunization disparities in the society at large.