Higher education associated with better national tetanus vaccination coverage: A population-based assessment
Vaccination coverage among United States (U.S.) adults for tetanus continues to be lower than the national goals. Education has demonstrated a positive impact on vaccination coverage. However, recently there have been outbreaks of vaccine preventable conditions in areas with high college completion rates. This study assessed the relationship between education and tetanus vaccination. Data from the 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a self-reported annual survey for non-institutionalized adults in the US from the Centers for Disease Control, was analyzed in 2019. The outcome was up-to-date tetanus vaccination if received within the last 10 years. Education was categorized into 1) grade 11 or less, 2) grade 12/GED, 3) college 1–3 years, and 4) college 4 or more years. Bivariate analyses and multivariable logistic regression were conducted on the analytic sample (n = 417,473) using Stata 15, accounting for weighting and the complex survey design. In 2016, 59.9% of U.S. adults had up-to-date tetanus vaccination. Higher education level was associated with increased odds of up-to-date tetanus vaccination. The highest odds were for those with 4 or more years of college education [aOR = 1.31; 95% (CI: 1.26–1.35)]. Female sex, Black (non-Hispanic), unemployed, not being married, not having insurance or a personal health care provider, and above 45 years of age had lower odds of up-to-date tetanus vaccination. Targeted community specific vaccination education programs for those without tertiary education may help enhance the knowledge and thus the overall vaccination status in the U.S.