Patterns in flu vaccination rates reveal potential COVID-19 vaccination challenges

A new brief from the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) uses flu vaccination data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify populations likely to be harder to reach with the COVID19 vaccination. The researchers report that overall adult flu vaccination rates in 2017-2019 were 39 percent—about half the level that would be needed to reach herd immunity against COVID-19. (Maine’s rate was 41 percent). Although some sub-groups at risk for COVID-19 demonstrate higher uptake of flu vaccines—older adults and those with pre-existing health conditions—low-income, Black, and Hispanic groups have significantly lower than average rates of flu vaccination. The authors further caution that the multiple doses necessary could further complicate delivery of this specific vaccine. Recognizing states as made of multiple, diverse populations, many of whom will require targeted outreach, will be key to achieving population immunity. #covid-19 #racialequity

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