The CDC continues to improve its vaccination reporting. The agency is now regularly reporting demographic data on its dashboard—including race, ethnicity, age, and sex. You can see counts for both U.S. residents who have received one and two doses. Like the rest of the CDC’s dashboard, the agency is updating these figures every day.
Advocates for greater equity in the vaccine rollout have pushed for such a data release for weeks. Meanwhile, more states than ever before are publishing their own demographic data: as of yesterday, we’re up to 33 states reporting race and/or ethnicity of vaccinated residents, 36 reporting age, and 32 reporting sex/gender.
But when it comes to tracking who’s getting vaccinated in America, we still have a long way to go. Now that demographic data are becoming more available at the federal and state levels, equity advocates are pushing for more local data—vaccinations by county, by town, by ZIP code.
New York City data reporter Ann Choi, for example, pointed out on Friday that this city has lagged behind cities such as Chicago and D.C. in releasing ZIP code-level vaccination data, which would allow researchers and journalists to see precisely which neighborhoods are getting more shots. And NYC ZIP codes are precise—I’m literally moving two blocks, but my ZIP code is changing.
(P.S. Ann will be speaking at the third workshop in the Diving into COVID-19 data series, on March 3, about her work at THE CITY!)
The Biden administration will soon start sending doses directly to Community Vaccination Centers, sites operated in partnership with existing community health clinics in an attempt to capitalize on existing connections that these clinics have in their neighborhoods. In order to judge the success of these clinics, we need data about their communities. Local data, demographic data, occupation data… the more complete picture that we can get, the better.
With more local data, we can do more stories like these:
- Across The South COVID-19 Vaccine Sites Missing From Black And Hispanic Neighborhoods (NPR)
- At This Early Stage of the COVID-19 Vaccine Roll-Out, Most Older Adults Have Not Yet Been Vaccinated As Supply Remains Limited (KFF)
- Covid-19 vaccination rates follow the money in states with the biggest wealth gaps, analysis shows (STAT)
- COVID source shoutout: Unique vaccine metricsMost states report some variation on the same COVID-19 vaccination metrics: doses allocated, doses administered, state residents who’ve been partially and fully vaccinated, and so on. But some states go beyond those basics.
- J&J is back on the menuAfter 10 days, the pause on the J&J vaccine has been lifted. According to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, there have been about 1.9 cases of severe blood clotting per million people who had received the J&J vaccine. It has been re-authorized for use in people aged 18 and older, now with an addendum to the label and fact sheet warning of the risk of blood clots.
- Community Profile Reports now have vaccination dataYou can now get vaccination numbers for U.S. states, counties, and metropolitan areas in an easily downloadable format: the Community Profile Reports published daily by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These reports are basically the HHS’s one-stop shop for COVID-19 data, including information on cases, deaths, PCR tests, hospitalizations—and now, vaccines.
- How to talk about breakthrough casesA lot of journalists, especially those who aren’t familiar with the science/health beat, may be inclined to publish news of breakthrough cases as surprising or monumental. In fact, these cases—referring to a COVID-19 infection that occurs after someone has been fully vaccinated—are entirely normal, yet incredibly rare. But we still need to pursue data on them.