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Evaluation of a city-wide school-located influenza vaccination program in Oakland, California with respect to race and ethnicity: A matched cohort study.

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Increasing influenza vaccination coverage in school-aged children may substantially reduce community transmission. School-located influenza vaccinations (SLIV) aim to promote vaccinations by increasing accessibility, which may be especially beneficial to race/ethnicity groups that face high barriers to preventative care. Here, we evaluate the effectiveness of a city-wide SLIV program by race/ethnicity from 2014 to 2018.


We used multivariate matching to pair schools in the intervention district in Oakland, CA with schools in a comparison district in West Contra Costa County, CA. We distributed cross-sectional surveys to measure caregiver-reported student vaccination status and estimated differences in vaccination coverage levels and reasons for non-vaccination between districts stratifying by race/ethnicity. We estimated difference-in-differences (DID) of laboratory confirmed influenza hospitalization incidence between districts stratified by race/ethnicity using surveillance data.


Differences in influenza vaccination coverage in the intervention vs. comparison district were larger among White (2017-18: 21.0% difference [95% CI: 9.7%, 32.3%]) and Hispanic/Latino (13.4% [8.8%, 18.0%]) students than Asian/Pacific Islander (API) (8.9% [1.3%, 16.5%]), Black (5.9% [-2.2%, 14.0%]), and multiracial (6.3% [-1.8%, 14.3%)) students. Concerns about vaccine effectiveness or safety were more common among Black and multiracial caregivers. Logistical barriers were less common in the intervention vs. comparison district, with the largest difference among White students. In both districts, hospitalizations in 2017-18 were higher in Blacks (Intervention: 111.5 hospitalizations per 100,00; Comparison: 134.1 per 100,000) vs. other races/ethnicities. All-age influenza hospitalization incidence was lower in the intervention site vs. comparison site among White/API individuals in 2016-17 (DID -25.14 per 100,000 [95% CI: -40.14, -10.14]) and 2017-18 (-36.6 per 100,000 [-52.7, -20.5]) and Black older adults in 2017-18 (-282.2 per 100,000 (-508.4, -56.1]), but not in other groups.


SLIV was associated with higher vaccination coverage and lower influenza hospitalization, but associations varied by race/ethnicity. SLIV alone may be insufficient to ensure equitable influenza outcomes.

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