CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — People of color tend to experience more severe cases of the flu and are hospitalized according to a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The study gathered data during 10 flu seasons (2009–2010 through 2018–2019). The findings showed disparities in hospitalization rates, intensive care unit admission rates, and in-hospital death rate which were even larger among children.
According to the study black people had the highest flu-related hospitalization rate (69 per 100,000). Indian or Alaska Native people had the second highest flu-related hospitalization rate (49 per 100,000). Hispanic or Latino people had the third highest flu-related hospitalization rate (45 per 100,000).
Nueces County Public Health District says national trends are reflected in the Coastal Bend.
Dante Gonzalez the Assistant Director of Public Health said, "A lot of the underrepresented minorities are not getting vaccinated and that really poses a problem because when they get sick they tend to end up more critical or they tend to end up in the hospital more regularly than when someone gets vaccinated."
The health district is encouraging people to get their flu shots, especially because this year, because flu season is expected to be active. In the past two weeks, the health district is reporting more than 650 flu cases in the area.
The health district is offering free vaccines for both COVID-19 and influenza in several locations. The vaccine drives operate from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The following is a list of days and locations for this week's free vaccine event:
- Wednesday, October 19
Northwest Senior Center9725 Up River Road
- Thursday, October 20
Corpus Christi Water Division2726 Holly Road
- Friday, October 21
Dr. Clotilde P. Garcia Public Library5930 Brockhampton Drive