Hung Fu Tseng, PhD, MPH, a Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine (KPSOM) Professor of Health Systems Science, co-authored a study highlighting the pertussis protection disparities among Hispanic infants. The research focuses on infants up to one year of age and examines vaccination rates in relation to maternal ethnicity and insurance coverage. Results show that foreign-born Hispanic mothers have higher prenatal tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccination uptake compared to US-born white mothers. Moreover, once initiating the infant vaccine series, foreign-born Hispanic mothers were more likely to adhere to the vaccination schedule than their US-born white counterparts.
The research emphasizes the importance of addressing disparities in vaccine uptake to protect vulnerable populations, particularly infants at risk of pertussis infection. By identifying and addressing barriers to vaccine access and enrollment, integrated health systems can work towards minimizing these disparities and enhancing the overall protection of infants against preventable diseases.