The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended that more be done to increase influenza vaccination rates among minority adults this flu season and in future flu seasons.
During the last flu season, only 39.1 percent of Latino adults received the vaccination, compared to 49.1 percent of non-Hispanic Whites. Early reports for the current flu season show non-Hispanic adults having higher - 37.5 percent - uptake rates than Hispanic adults - 29.5 percent.
Other CDC findings show that there was a five percent increase in coverage among African Americans, but the finding has yet to be confirmed because it used a different methodology.
The CDC recommends that immunization programs work with the leaders in black, Hispanic, American Indian and Alaska Native communities to ensure all members have access to and receive flu vaccination.
The agency also recommends working with local providers in minority communities in order to set up plans that include flu vaccination.
Proven strategies to increase vaccination coverage include recommendations by physicians and healthcare providers and the creation of standing orders, recall systems and provider reminders. The CDC has issued the Community Guide for Preventative Services to provide guidance on effective interventions aimed at increasing the use of recommended vaccines, including the seasonal flu vaccine.