Racial and ethnic disparities in both flu hospitalizations and vaccinations in the United States are on full display in a newly published study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Released Tuesday (October 18), the new data found that Black, Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native adults are more likely to be hospitalized with the flu while also being less likely to have received vaccination against the sickness than white and Asian Americans.
Last flu season, the study reveals that 54 percent of white and Asian American adults received flu shots, compared to 42 percent of Blacks, 38 percent of Hispanics and 41 percent of American Indian and Alaska natives.
Perhaps the most glaring discrepancy the study found was that Black adults were 80 percent more likely to be hospitalized for the flu than whites, which is much higher than American Indians/Alaska natives (30 percent higher than whites) and Hispanics (20 percent higher).
The CDC’s new study is based on hospitalization rates from 2009-22 and flu vaccination coverage data from 2010-22. It also notes that the relationships between hospitalization and vaccination data are not proportional.
The CDC recommends everyone 6 months of age and older receive a yearly flu shot. Each year, millions of Americans are infected by the flu, resulting in hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths.
Read the full study here.