Federal data updates, Feb. 7

Since our main stories this week focused on NYC, here are a couple of updates from the federal public health agencies.

  • CDC releases demographic vaccination data: This past Monday, the CDC published a MMWR report on characteristics of Americans vaccinated during the first month of our vaccine rollout, December 14 to January 14. Race/ethnicity data are missing for almost half of the vaccinations recorded here, but the existing data show white Americans getting vaccinated at higher rates than Black and Hispanic/Latino Americans.
  • CDC vaccination dashboard now includes time series: As of Thursday, the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker now includes a page called “Vaccination Trends,” which shows daily counts of total doses administered, people receiving 1 dose, and people receiving 2 doses. The doses are assigned to the date they’re administered, not the date they’re reported, so they may not match time series on other dashboards. Time series aren’t yet available for individual states.
  • KFF reports COVID-19 vaccinations by race/ethnicity: The Kaiser Family Foundation’s “State COVID-19 Data and Policy Actions” tracker now includes a dashboard with vaccinations by race/ethnicity, including data from 23 states as of Feb. 1. KFF says the data will be updated on a regular basis.
  • U.S. Department of Education surveying COVID-19’s impact for students: On Friday, the Department of Education announced that the Institute of Education Sciences would collect “vital data on the impact of COVID-19 on students and the status of in-person learning.” Data gathered in the survey will include the share of America’s schools that are open in-person vs. remote, enrollment by various demographic metrics, attendance rates, and information on the logistics of in-person and remote instruction. Notably, the survey does not promise to collect data on COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths associated with K-12 schools.
  • At-home tests are coming: This week, the White House announced that the new administration has contracted with diagnostic company Ellume and six other suppliers to produce tens of millions of at-home tests by the end of the summer. Ellume’s test is an antigen test, and, though the other test suppliers haven’t yet been announced, we can assume they also make antigen or rapid nucleic acid amplification tests; neither test type is currently reported by the federal government. If these tests do become a significant part of America’s COVID-19 response—and some experts are skeptical that this will happen—a major change in test reporting practices will be needed.

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