Lessons Learned From Adolescent COVID-19 Vaccine Administration in Medically Underserved Communities.

Lessons Learned From Adolescent COVID-19 Vaccine Administration in Medically Underserved Communities.

Publication date: Jan 19, 2024

In May 2021, the Health Resources and Services Administration Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program (HCCVP) began supporting the national adolescent vaccination rollout for a safe return to in-person learning for children and adolescents from medically underserved communities. To understand the initial implementation of adolescent vaccinations, we estimated the number of vaccines administered through the HCCVP at the national and state level to adolescents aged 12-17 years, and we examined challenges and solutions in vaccine deployment. We analyzed data on vaccine administration, challenges, and solutions from the Health Center COVID-19 Survey during May 14-August 27, 2021, and we analyzed data on patients served from the 2019 Uniform Data System. National adolescent COVID-19 vaccination and population data came from CDC’s COVID Data Tracker and the US Census Bureau’s 2019 Current Population Survey. HCCVP health centers administered >485 000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to adolescents during the study period, with variations across states. Health centers in 13 states and territories (Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Virginia, and Puerto Rico) vaccinated more adolescents than their share of prepandemic adolescent patients. The most frequently reported challenges in vaccine administration were vaccine confidence and staffing availability. This assessment of the initial months of COVID-19 vaccine administration among adolescent health center patients suggests rapid response by health centers in several states, reaching beyond their adolescent patient population to support state-level pandemic response. Future research could examine processes to optimize strategic activation of health centers in public health emergency responses.

Concepts Keywords
August adolescent vaccination
Maine COVID-19
Nebraska health center
Vaccinated medically underserved communities
public health emergency


Type Source Name
disease VO COVID-19 vaccine
disease VO vaccination
disease VO vaccine
disease MESH COVID-19
disease VO population
disease VO vaccinated
disease MESH emergency

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