Neighborhood Inequalities Lead to Lower COVID-19 Vaccination Rates

Results of a new study show that the vaccines seldomly reach the area that were heavily affected by the pandemic, because of ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic disparities.

Ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic inequalities have led to lower COVID-19 vaccination rates across neighborhoods in some of the largest US cities, according to new research.

Investigators at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health studied neighborhoods in Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, Texas; Los Angeles and San Diego, California; New York, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Phoenix, Arizona.

“The 209 neighborhoods with the highest death rates accounted for half of historical COVID-19 deaths, but they went on to receive only 26% of vaccinations,” Adam Sacarny, PhD, assistant professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said in a statement. “That finding is particularly concerning, because it shows that the places that have borne the greatest burden of Covid-19 are not getting vaccinated at the same rate to prevent future harms from the pandemic.”

Investigators at the university found that high vaccination rates were in neighborhoods that had residents with higher income, lower poverty rates, and whiter residents. They also tended to have had relatively low COVID-19 death rates.

Results of the study showed on the low end was a neighborhood with a vaccination rate of just 28%, while the highest vaccination rate was 60%.

The neighborhood with the lowest vaccination rate comprised a population that was 25% Black and 52% white, while the neighborhood with the highest vaccination rate was 6% Black and 70% white, the study results showed.

Reference

New study on COVID-19 vaccinations in the largest US cities finds stark inequalities. EurekAlert. News release. September 8, 2021. Accessed September 8, 2021. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/927474