Background: In 2006, routine two-dose varicella vaccination for all children was recommended, including a second dose catch-up program for older children and adolescents. Recent studies have shown that a second dose of the vaccine provides incremental protection against varicella disease.
Methods: This study is a cross-sectional analysis of data collected in the National Immunization Survey–Teen 2010 combined with publicly available data related to state immunization requirements. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to examine individual-level and state-level factors associated with receipt of two doses of varicella vaccine among 10,542 adolescents 13 to 17 years of age with no history of varicella.
Results: Overall, 58.1% of adolescents without any history of varicella had received two doses of varicella vaccine. Coverage varied widely among states, ranging from 19.7% in South Dakota to 85.3% in Rhode Island. In the multivariable model, receipt of two doses of varicella vaccine was significantly associated with younger age, higher maternal education level, private health insurance, more frequent health care visits, receipt of both quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate and tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis vaccinations, and residing in a state with two-dose policies for middle school entry. Vaccines for Children program–eligible adolescents were less likely to have received two doses.
Conclusion: Two-dose varicella vaccination coverage remained low among adolescents in 2010, despite the universal recommendation. Programs that are aimed specifically at Vaccines for Children program–eligible adolescents, state policies requiring two doses for middle school entry, and broad education and implementation of the adolescent vaccination platform may help to improve varicella vaccination coverage.