Inequities in flu vaccine uptake : more vaccination needed for people from some racial/ethnic groups
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Inequities in flu vaccine uptake : more vaccination needed for people from some racial/ethnic groups

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      Flu can be serious and lead to hospitalization or death. Flu vaccination is the best way to protect against flu. Between 140,000 and 710,000 people were hospitalized with flu each year during 2010–2020. People from some racial and ethnic minority groups are more likely to be hospitalized with flu. Compared to White adults, flu hospitalization rates* are:

      • Nearly 80% higher among Black adults

      • 30% higher among American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) adults

      • 20% higher among Hispanic adults

      Vaccination may not always prevent infection, but it can make symptoms less severe and reduce the risk of being hospitalized. Since 2010, flu vaccination coverage has been consistently lower among Black, Hispanic, and AI/AN adults. During the 2021–2022 season, flu vaccination coverage was 54% among White adults, 42% among Black adults, 38% among Hispanic adults, and 41% among AI/AN adults. There are many reasons for these inequities, including lack of access to health care and insurance, missed opportunities to vaccinate, and misinformation and distrust. Racism and prejudice are known to worsen inequalities. In addition to disparities in vaccine uptake, there are likely other factors contributing to worse outcomes for some groups.

      Increasing equitable vaccine uptake requires addressing the range of reasons why people do not get vaccinated. Over the past two years, CDC has begun two programs to address vaccination barriers and raise awareness about the importance of flu vaccination, specifically among people from racial and ethnic minority groups: the Partnering for Vaccine Equity (P4VE) program and a targeted flu vaccination campaign.

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