Identification of Spatial Clusters of Undervaccination Patterns Among Children Aged <24 Months Using Immunization Information System Data, Montana, 2015-2019

Sophia R. Newcomer, Jonathan Graham, Kayla Irish, Rain E. Freeman, Cindy S. Leary, Bekki K. Wehner, Matthew F. Daley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Spatial clustering of undervaccination leads to increased risk of vaccine-preventable diseases. We identified spatial clustering of undervaccination patterns among children aged <24 months in Montana. Methods: We used Montana’s immunization information system data to analyze deidentified vaccination records of children aged <24 months born from January 2015 through November 2017. We measured 3 outcomes that were not mutually exclusive: not completing the combined 7-vaccine series by age 24 months, having an undervaccination pattern indicative of parental hesitancy, and having an undervaccination pattern indicative of structural barriers to timely vaccination. Using geomasked residential addresses, we conducted separate Bernoulli spatial scans with a randomization P <.01 to identify spatial clusters consisting of ≥100 children for each outcome and calculated the relative risk of having the undervaccination pattern inside versus outside the cluster. Results: Of 31 201 children aged <24 months included in our study, 11 712 (37.5%) had not completed the combined 7-vaccine series by age 24 months, and we identified 5 spatial clusters of this outcome across Montana. We identified 4 clusters of undervaccination patterns indicative of parental vaccine hesitancy, all in western Montana. The cluster with the largest relative risk (2.3) had a radius of 23.7 kilometers (n = 762 children, P <.001). We also identified 4 clusters of undervaccination patterns indicative of structural barriers, with 3 of the largest clusters in eastern Montana. Conclusion: In Montana, different strategies to increase routine and timely childhood vaccination are needed in distinct areas of this large and predominantly rural state. Immunization information system data can pinpoint areas where interventions to increase vaccination uptake are needed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Health Reports
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

Keywords

  • rural health
  • spatial scan methods
  • vaccine hesitancy
  • vaccines

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