Sumary of New study on COVID-19 vaccinations in the largest US cities finds stark inequities:
- In a study of the 9 largest U.S. cities, researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health found stark racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic inequities in COVID-19 vaccination rates across neighborhoods.
- The study showed that high vaccination neighborhoods had more white residents, fewer people of color, higher incomes, and lower poverty rates.
- These high vaccination neighborhoods also had lower historical COVID-19 death rates, showing that lifesaving vaccines have been slow to reach the areas that were hardest-hit by the pandemic.
- Using data on COVID-19 vaccination and death rates from state and local health authorities, the researchers sorted neighborhoods into four groups in order of vaccination rate, which they defined as the fraction of adults with at least one dose.
- Racial disparities were particularly large: in the lowest vaccination neighborhoods, 25 percent of the population was Black and 52 percent was white, while in the highest vaccination neighborhoods just 6 percent of the population was Black and 70 percent was white.
- The researchers then studied whether vaccinations were going to people in hard-hit areas as measured by historical Covid-19 death rates.
- “The 209 neighborhoods with the highest death rates accounted for half of historical Covid-19 deaths, but they went on to receive only 26 percent of vaccinations,” said Adam Sacarny, PhD, assistant professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.