Inequities found in US flu vaccine uptake: CDC

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Washington– Black, Hispanic, and American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN) adults in the US are more likely to be hospitalised with flu, and less likely to be vaccinated against the infection, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report released Tuesday surveyed flu hospitalisation rates from 2009 to 2022 and vaccination coverage from 2010 to 2022 by race and ethnicity, reports Xinhua news agency.

Flu vaccination coverage has been consistently lower among Black, Hispanic, and AI/AN adults since 2010, the report showed.

During the 2021 to 2022 season, flu vaccination coverage was 54 per cent among White and Asian adults, compared to 42 per cent among Black adults, 38 per cent among Hispanic adults, and 41 per cent among AI/AN adults.

Meanwhile, Black, Hispanic, and AI/AN adults were hospitalised with flu at higher rates than their White counterparts during most seasons from 2009 to 2022, the report showed.

Compared to White adults, hospitalisation rates were nearly 80 per cent higher among Black adults, 30 per cent higher among AI/AN adults, and 20 per cent higher among Hispanic adults, according to the report.

“There are many reasons for disparities in severe outcomes of flu, including lack of access to health care and insurance, missed opportunities to vaccinate, and misinformation and distrust that contribute to lower levels of confidence in vaccines,” said the CDC.

Racism and prejudice also are known to worsen inequalities, the health body added. (IANS)


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