OBJECTIVES: This study explored how vaccination coverage is associated with not being insured and with insurance type among children who are insured and to show how these associations are modified by race/ethnicity. METHODS: We determined whether 8324 children sampled in the National Immunization Survey in 2001 and 2002 were covered by private insurance only, Medicaid/State Children's Health Insurance Program, or another insurance type or were uninsured at the time of the National Immunization Survey interview or were uninsured at some time before the interview. Children were up to date if, by the date of the interview, their vaccination providers had administered > or =4 doses of diphtheria-tetanus toxoids-acellular pertussis vaccine, > or =3 doses of polio vaccine, > or =1 dose of measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, > or =3 doses of Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine, and > or =3 doses of hepatitis B vaccine. To evaluate the association between insurance type and breaks in insurance with timely completion of the recommended vaccination schedule soon after 19 months of age, we restricted our analyses to children 19 to 24 months of age. RESULTS: Nationally, 12.6 +/- 1.6% of all children 19 to 24 months of age were uninsured at some time. Children who were uninsured at the time of the National Immunization Survey interview had significantly lower vaccination coverage than did children with Medicaid/State Children's Health Insurance Program coverage or children with private insurance only (52.6% vs 70.0% and 75.6%). Children who had never been insured and children who were insured but had a break in insurance coverage in the 12 months immediately preceding the National Immunization Survey interview had significantly lower vaccination coverage than did children who had been insured continuously (47.4% and 64.8% vs 73.5%). CONCLUSIONS: Approximately 1 of 8 children were uninsured at some time, and those children were at greater risk of not being vaccinated on time as recommended.
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