New CDC mortality data: “Real-time public health surveillance at a highly granular level”

This past Monday, the CDC put out a major data release: mortality data for 2020 and 2021, encompassing the pandemic’s impact on deaths from all causes in the U.S. The new data allow researchers and reporters to investigate excess deaths, a measure of the pandemic’s true toll—comparing the number of deaths that occurred in a particular region, during a particular year, to deaths that would’ve been expected had COVID-19 not occurred. At the same time, the new data allow for investigations into COVID-19 disparities and increased deaths of non-COVID causes during the pandemic.

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Public health data in the US is “incredibly fragmented”: Zoe McLaren on booster shots and more

This week, I had a new story published at the data journalism site FiveThirtyEight. The story explores the U.S.’s failure to comprehensively track breakthrough cases, and how that failure has led officials to look towards data from other countries with better tracking systems as they make decisions about booster shots. In the CDD, I’m sharing one of the interviews I did for that story.

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The CDC needs to release state-by-state data on who’s getting vaccinated

This week, we finally got demographic state-by-state vaccination data from the CDC. Well… sort-of. A team from KHN received CDC state-by-state demographic vaccination data via a public records request. The data indicate that, despite promises from the White House to prioritize vulnerable communities in the vaccination campaign, a lot of inequities persist.

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