Medical experts recommend that people age 65 and older, children younger than 5, pregnant women, and certain others should be vaccinated annually against seasonal flu.
But too many older Hispanics are not getting an annual flu shot, according to a recent report by the federal government’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, AHRQ.
The agency found that just over half of Hispanics ages 65 and older are getting an annual flu shot, compared with two-thirds of Whites the same age.
Statistics like these may help explain another AHRQ finding that Hispanics, as a whole, are 1.5 times more likely to be hospitalized for immunization-preventable influenza than Whites.
While getting the flu for many Americans may mean missing a few days of work because of fatigue, body aches, and other symptoms, for others the impact can be far more serious. In people with weak immune systems such as the elderly and those with chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease, the flu can lead to potentially dangerous complications such as pneumonia.