Study: H1N1 Hospitalization Rates Higher for Minorities; Vaccination Rates Lower

November 10, 2010
by Dena Bunis
CQ HealthBeat News


African Americans and Hispanics were much less likely to have gotten flu shots during the 2009-10 season than white people, and also had nearly double the hospitalization rates for the H1N1 flu, according to a new report, Fighting Flu Fatigue, released on Wednesday by Trust for America’s Health.

“The flu is preventable with a vaccine — yet each year, between 3,000 and 49,000 Americans die from flu-related illnesses and the flu contributes to more than $10 billion in lost productivity and direct medical expenses and $16 billion in lost potential earnings each year,” the report says.

Jeffrey Levi, executive director of Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and Litjen Tan, director of medicine and public health for the American Medical Association discussed the findings in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded the study.