Government's Pandemic Influenza Plan Does Not Take Into Account Socioeconomic and Racial/Ethnic Disparities

Preparation and dissemination of a paper on a flu pandemic: Would some people suffer more than others?

Between September 2006 and February 2007, researchers at the Center on Social Disparities in Health at the University of California, San Francisco, examined ways in which different socioeconomic and racial/ethnic groups might fare in the event of an influenza pandemic and recommended approaches to reducing inequities and adverse health outcomes.

Key Findings

  • Governmental plans for addressing influenza pandemics can fail if they do not consider socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in exposure, vaccination and treatment, or identify strategies for minimizing or eliminating such disparities.

  • The Pandemic Influenza Plan of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services makes only limited mention of how to minimize disparities in exposure, vaccination and treatment among racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

Braveman and her team issued a number of recommendations based on the research.