Hey CDC, when dashboard?

A new report from the Government Accountability Office suggests that the CDC’s tracker has a long way to go before it becomes the centralized system that Americans need. The report, released last Wednesday, is over 500 pages of problems and recommendations, ranging from the Emergency Use Authorization process to health care for veterans; but it includes some data bangers.

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New, more local data from the CDC

The CDC made two major updates to its COVID-19 data this week. First: On Tuesday, the agency published a new dataset with more granular information on COVID-19 cases. Second: Vaccination data at the county level are now available on the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker.

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COVID source shout-out: Hawaii

Hawaii is the latest state to add vaccinations by race to its dashboard. I am a fan of both the state’s green-and-orange color choices and its handy finger-pointing icon, instructing users to hover over each bar in order to compare vaccination numbers to Hawaii’s demographics.

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COVID source callout: CDC race/ethnicity data

In the White House COVID-19 briefing this past Monday, equity task force director Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith showed, for one fleeting minute, a slide on completeness of state-by-state data on vaccinations by race and ethnicity. The slide pointed out that racial/ethnic data was only available for 53% of vaccinations, and most states report these data for fewer than 80% of records.

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COVID source callout: Age brackets

One of the newest states to start reporting race/ethnicity vaccination data is Minnesota. At a glance, the Race/Ethnicity tab of the state’s vaccine data dashboard looks comprehensive: it includes demographic data stratified by age, as well as a bar chart that compares the population that’s been vaccinated to Minnesota’s population overall. But closer examination shows one crucial issue.

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Diving into COVID-19 data #1: Workshop recap

Our first workshop happened this week! Drew Armstrong, Bloomberg News’s senior editor for health care, talked about his work on the publication’s Vaccine Tracker; and Arielle Levin Becker, director of communications and strategic initiatives for the Connecticut Health Foundation, discussed how to navigate COVID-19 race and ethnicity data. Thank you to everyone who attended—we had a great turnout!

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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. This includes CDC vaccination data, vaccination demographics, and a survey from the Department of Education.

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Access barriers lead to vaccination disparity in NYC

27 states are now reporting race and ethnicity data for their vaccinations. This week, New York joined that number. New York City also started reporting these data last Sunday, as I noted in that day’s issue. Despite promises from city and state leadership to prioritize equity in the vaccine rollout, the numbers so far are showing white New Yorkers getting vaccinated at much higher rates than their Black and Hispanic/Latino neighbors.

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