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How COVID-19 Has Impacted US Adolescent and Adult Vaccine Utilization

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Globally and in the US, widespread vaccination has demonstrated medical, economic, and social value to both individuals and public health and has contributed to reductions in morbidity and mortality of certain diseases.

Over the past 20 years in the US, estimates suggest that childhood vaccinations have prevented approximately 322 million illnesses and 21 million hospitalizations, averted 732,000 deaths, and saved over $295 billion in direct costs and $1.38 trillion in total societal costs. Adolescent and adult vaccination rates have not achieved the same level of success and remain below national targets, despite long standing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Prior to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination coverage had begun to stagnate globally; the COVID-19 pandemic response and related disruptions to healthcare delivery have potentially exacerbated this issue. In the US, over 80% of surveyed payers noted decreases in immunizations as well as screenings for cancer, hypertension, and diabetes.

To better understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescent and adult vaccination in the US, Avalere conducted an analysis of 2019 and 2020 claims submissions. Across commercial, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare fee-for-service, vaccination services for adolescent and adults substantially decreased at the beginning of the pandemic and have not rebounded since.

Key Takeaways

  1. While the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on childhood immunization has been documented, few analyses have quantified the impact on adolescent and adult immunizations
  2. Aggregate claims for all vaccine products for adults and adolescents declined between 41% and 53% across markets from March–August 2019 to March–August 2020
  3. While there is no direct correlation between the number of new COVID-19 cases and a reductions in claims, claims declined and stagnated across all markets following the public health emergency
  4. Claim trends for influenza vaccines indicate that more beneficiaries are being vaccinated earlier in the 2020–2021 season than in the 2019–2020 season, which may reflect multi-stakeholder influenza-related messaging efforts and could inform public health approaches to other routine vaccines

Download the related white paper and infographic:

Funding for this research was provided by GlaxoSmithKline. Avalere Health retained full editorial control.

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