Welfare, maternal work, and on-time childhood vaccination rates

Min Woong Sohn, Joan Yoo, Elissa H. Oh, Laura B. Amsden, Jane L. Holl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To examine effects of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families welfare cash assistance and maternal work requirements on "on-time" childhood vaccination rates. METHODS: A stratified random sample of Illinois children from low-income families affected by welfare reform was monitored from 1997 to 2004. Medical records from pediatricians' offices and Medicaid claims data were used to identify the timeliness of 18 recommended vaccinations. Random-intercept logistic models were used to estimate on-time vaccine administration as a function of welfare receipt and maternal work with adjustment for characteristics of the children and mothers and time-varying covariates pertaining to the administration window for each recommended vaccine dose. RESULTS: Of all recommended vaccinations, 55.9% were administered on time. On-time vaccination rates were higher when families were receiving welfare than not (57.4% vs 52.8%). Children in families that either were receiving welfare or had working mothers were 1.7 to 2.1 times more likely to receive vaccinations on time compared with children in families that were not receiving welfare and did not have working mothers. When vaccine doses were stratified according to welfare status, maternal work was associated with decreased on-time vaccination rates (odds ratio: 0.73 [95% confidence interval: 0.59-0.90]) when families received welfare but increased on-time vaccination rates (odds ratio: 1.68 [95% confidence interval: 1.27-2.22]) when they did not receive welfare. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that maternal work requirements of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families had negative effects on timely administration of childhood vaccinations, although receipt of welfare itself was associated with increased on-time rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1109-1116
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Childhood vaccination
  • Maternal employment
  • Welfare reform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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