CDC expects active flu season; minorities at particular risk

The CDC just started its yearly tracking of the flu (influenza virus) and its vaccine last week and early estimates don’t bode well for the season.

So, they’re focusing their attention on what they call “Priority groups.”

In this age of vaccine hesitancy, public health officials are challenged to get people to take the flu shot. Getting the flu vaccine could be critically important for minorities.

Nearly a third of Black and Hispanic adults in the U.S. say they are undecided about getting the shot.

LINK: CDC Flu Tracker

A national survey found the top reasons were perceived lack of susceptibility because the flu was so mild last year, while others weren’t sure how the flu shot might interact with the COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Willie Underwood, with the American Medical Association, explains why it’s so important to connect.

“Black people are 1.8 times more and Hispanic people are 1.2 times more likely to end up hospitalized from getting the flu. Why is that?” Underwood said, adding that it’s also an issue of decreased immunity of the immune system from cardiac disease, diabetes, and a whole host of other comorbid diseases.

The CDC forecasts as many as 41 million influenza cases and about 710,000 hospitalizations.

Reporter:Amy Oshier
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