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Health Equity and Flu

Posted on April 27, 2022
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One of FFF’s core beliefs is that everyone, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or any other identifying information, deserves to be healthy. Because the health of one affects the health of all, we want EVERYONE to have the best chance at getting vaccinated, tested, and treated against influenza to avoid a potentially devastating outcome.

According to this definition from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, “Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care.”

When talking about health equity, we also need to talk about health disparities. When it comes to flu in the United States, there are differences in who gets vaccinated and who has better outcomes. Recent data show that:

  • Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Native American children are significantly more likely to have flu-associated hospitalization, ICU admission, and death compared to white children
  • Non-Hispanic Black people had the highest flu-related hospitalization rate (69 per 100,000) during 10 flu seasons (2009–2010 through 2018–2019).
  • During the 2021-2022 flu season, flu vaccination rates were 8% lower for non-Hispanic Black children compared with non-Hispanic White children
  • During the 2021-2022 flu season, flu vaccination rates were 22.2% lower for Black pregnant persons than non-Hispanic White pregnant persons and 11.2% lower for Hispanic/Latino pregnant persons

FFF is working to improve health equity and reduce these inequities by making flu information readily available and accessible. By arming people with actionable, credible information that is easily understood, our goal is to ensure that everyone knows that flu is a serious – but preventable – disease.

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