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September 9, 2020

Disparities in Influenza Vaccination—Opportunity to Extend Cardiovascular Prevention to Millions of Hearts

Author Affiliations
  • 1Emory Clinical Cardiovascular Research Institute, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 2National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia
  • 3Center for the Study of Adversity and Cardiovascular Disease (NURTURE Center), Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco
  • 4Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Immunization Services Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Atlanta, Georgia
JAMA Cardiol. 2021;6(1):11-12. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2020.3983

Twenty-five years after the influenza pandemic of 1918, the first inactivated influenza vaccine was produced by the US Army for use in US troops.1 Since 1960, the US Surgeon General and US Centers for Disease and Control Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices have recommended influenza vaccination for people living with chronic disease such as atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) and heart failure.2 A scientific advisory from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology supports influenza as a class I recommendation for secondary cardiovascular prevention (level of evidence, B).3 Despite compelling data regarding this safe and evidence-based preventive health measure, influenza vaccination rates remain suboptimal, even among those living with high-risk conditions and other vulnerable populations including marginalized racial/ethnic groups, persons without insurance, and individuals with lower socioeconomic status.4

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