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New Report Finds H1N1 Hospitalization Rates Higher But Vaccination Rates Lower for Minorities
Date:11/10/2010

he United States. Fighting Flu Fatigue examines lessons from the H1N1 pandemic to inform future flu policies and prevention in the United States.

"Following the H1N1 pandemic, we could take two different paths," said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, Executive Director of TFAH. "We could go back to a national complacency around the flu or we could build on the momentum of the pandemic response efforts to help spare millions of Americans from suffering yearly from the flu. Building on the work we've done would also better prepare the country for future disease outbreaks we may face."

Last flu season, during the pandemic, flu vaccination rates reached historical highs. Around 44 percent of children ages six months to 17 years received the seasonal flu vaccination and around 40 percent of children received the H1N1 vaccine in 2009-2010. In prior years, childhood flu vaccination rates had been around 24 percent. In 2009-2010, approximately 40 percent of adults were vaccinated against the seasonal flu, compared to past years where vaccination rates had been around 30 percent. The adult H1N1 vaccination rates were approximately 27 percent, but these rates were deflated because of the limited availability of vaccine in the beginning of the outbreak.

This year, for the first time, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that all Americans older than six months should get vaccinated against the flu. To further combat the flu, increase vaccination rates and build on the momentum from the H1N1 response, the report recommends creating a major campaign that provides:

  • Education about the need for flu shots, focused on why everyone should get immunized and the safety of the shots;
  • Special, concerted outreach to minority groups. It is particularly important to use targeted, culturally-appropriate messages and messengers that encourage vaccinations and address negative beliefs and misi
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SOURCE Trust for America's Health
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