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Zoster vaccination inequalities: A population based cohort study using linked data from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink

posted on 15.11.2018, 18:47 authored by Anu Jain, Jemma L. Walker, Rohini Mathur, Harriet J. Forbes, Sinéad M. Langan, Liam Smeeth, Albert J. van Hoek, Sara L. Thomas


To quantify inequalities in zoster vaccine uptake by determining its association with socio-demographic factors: age, gender, ethnicity, immigration status, deprivation (at Lower-layer Super Output Area-level), care home residence and living arrangements.


This population-based cohort study utilised anonymised primary care electronic health records from England (Clinical Practice Research Datalink) linked to deprivation and hospitalisation data. Data from 35,333 individuals from 277 general practices in England and eligible for zoster vaccination during the two-year period (2013–2015) after vaccine introduction were analysed. Logistic regression was used to obtain adjusted odds ratios (aOR) for the association of socio-demographic factors with zoster vaccine uptake for adults aged 70 years (main target group) and adults aged 79 years (catch-up group).


Amongst those eligible for vaccination, 52.4% (n = 18,499) received the vaccine. Socio-demographic factors independently associated with lower zoster vaccine uptake in multivariable analyses were: being older (catch-up group: aged 79 years) aOR = 0.89 (95% confidence interval (CI):0.85–0.93), care home residence (aOR = 0.64 (95%CI: 0.57–0.73)) and living alone (aOR = 0.85 (95%CI: 0.81–0.90)). Uptake decreased with increasing levels of deprivation (p-value for trend<0.0001; aOR most deprived versus least deprived areas = 0.69 (95%CI: 0.64–0.75)). Uptake was also lower amongst those of non-White ethnicities (for example, Black versus White ethnicity: aOR = 0.61 (95%CI: 0.49–0.75)) but was not lower among immigrants after adjusting for ethnicity. Lower uptake was also seen amongst females compared to men in the catch-up group.


Inequalities in zoster vaccine uptake exist in England; with lower uptake among those of non-White ethnicities, and among those living alone, in a care home and in more deprived areas. Tailored interventions to increase uptake in these social groups should assist in realising the aim of mitigating vaccination inequalities. As care home residents are also at higher risk of zoster, improving the uptake of zoster vaccination in this group will also mitigate inequalities in zoster burden.