Giving County Health Leaders the Right Data to Boost COVID-19 Vaccination Rates
Stopping the spread of COVID-19 requires rapid, widespread vaccination coverage. Yet there are big differences in vaccine uptake rates among communities. To use their scarce time and resources effectively and equitably, local health authorities must identify pockets of under-vaccination. And if they are to tackle inequities in vaccine rollout, they must also understand the particular challenges these communities face.
Health authorities in Pima County, Arizona, wanted to improve COVID-19 vaccination rates by focusing their limited resources on areas most at risk from the negative impacts of the pandemic. So they asked Partners In Health and us to develop a holistic view of where to target vaccination campaigns in their county.
In response, we created a dashboard providing a view of COVID-19 vulnerability and barriers to vaccine coverage at the census-tract level. For the first time, the Pima County health decision-makers have a single tool that provides real-time, geographically precise insights into the barriers to higher vaccination coverage and why some areas are more vulnerable.
Our solution combines the county’s own health data with tools we had developed earlier in the pandemic. We looked at two questions:
First: Which communities are most vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19 and furthest behind in vaccine coverage? Using Surgo Ventures’ COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Index (CCVI), we were able to calculate a precise vulnerability score for each of Pima County’s 241 census tracts.
Second: Which community-level barriers to vaccine coverage are of greatest concern? Our COVID-19 Vaccine Coverage Index (CVAC) captures the underlying supply and demand challenges associated with low coverage.
The end result is a real-time, interactive dashboard that enables decision-makers to:
- Identify vulnerable areas with rising COVID-19 case rates and low vaccination coverage
- Understand the factors making these communities more vulnerable to the negative health, social, and economic impacts of COVID-19
- Understand the possible drivers of lower vaccination rates, from poor infrastructure and access to irregular care-seeking behaviors
This hyperlocal analysis makes it possible to design locally appropriate and precise vaccine uptake strategies for each census tract.
Health department teams and local community-based organizations can use this tool to design coordinated, tailored interventions — such as campaigns or communications strategies — to drive demand for COVID-19 vaccines or improve vaccine access. And it can identify areas that are underperforming or exceeding expectations, so that the lessons can be applied to wider efforts to reduce COVID-19 vaccine inequity.
While the dashboard currently focuses on Pima County, this approach can be adapted to any other community in the United States.
Read our full report to learn more: COVID-19 Vaccine Solutions Dashboard: Leveraging granular data to improve COVID-19 vaccination coverage in Pima County, Arizona
Explore the dashboard: COVID-19 Vaccine Solutions Dashboard