Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination is the core strategy for pandemic management. We hypothesized that a vaccination gap might exist between emergency department (ED) patients admitted for trauma and other ED patients.
This was an observational quality improvement study using electronic health record data at an academic level-1 trauma center. Participants were all patients presenting to the adult ED with a Tennessee home address between January 1 and June 1, 2021. We measured the proportional difference in vaccination between admitted trauma patients and other ED patients over time (by week) and association via Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient. Binary logistic regression facilitated covariate analysis to account for age, sex, race, home county, and ethnicity without and then with interaction between trauma admission and time. Geographic visual analysis compared county-level vaccination rates with odds of trauma admission by home county using a bivariate chloropleth map.
The proportional difference in vaccination between trauma-admitted and other ED patients increased over time (Spearman’s = 0.699). Adjusting for age, sex, race, home county, and ethnicity, there was a statistically significant vaccination difference between trauma-admitted and other ED patients (odds ratio = 0.53, 95% CI 0.43–0.65, p < 0.0001). Geographic analysis revealed increased trauma admission odds and lower vaccination rates in surrounding counties compared with Davidson County.
We observed a widening COVID-19 vaccination gap between trauma-admitted and other ED patients. Vaccine outreach during trauma admission may provide a valuable point of contact for unvaccinated patients.