WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Black and Hispanic adults get flu and pneumonia vaccines less often than whites, say researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Separate studies reported in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine drew from the government's 2000 National Health Interview Survey.
In one study, researcher Karen Lees said socioeconomic factors failed explain the differences
Lees speculated personal attitudes, beliefs and knowledge may keep black and Hispanic adults from seeking immunization or accepting it when it is offered.
In a companion study, James Singleton said doctors' failure to recommend getting a vaccine played a larger role than patients' refusal to get them.
Singleton's study found black and Hispanic flu and pneumonia immunization rates were 15 to 22 percentage points lower than whites'.
The government's goal is to have 90 percent of U.S. residents 65 and older immunized against flu and pneumonia by the 2010.
However, Singleton said just 60 percent of U.S. seniors got a pneumonia shot and 68 percent got a flu vaccination.