Jun 1, 2021 - Health

COVID vaccine disparities increased as eligibility expanded

Percent vaccinated by social vulnerability index
Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Chart: Axios Visuals

Income and other socioeconomic factors seem to be driving bigger disparities in coronavirus vaccinations than race, according to CDC data released Friday.

The big picture: In counties with the highest social vulnerability, only about 50% of residents have been vaccinated — compared to 60% in the least vulnerable counties.

  • There are a lot of ways to measure vulnerability, and racial and socioeconomic inequities are closely linked.
  • Still, counties' income levels tended to correlate more closely to lower vaccination rates than their populations of color, the CDC found.

By the numbers: Vaccine disparities widened by 7 more percentage points between the most socially vulnerable and the least socially vulnerable counties when considering their socioeconomic status.

  • Adults living in counties where the percentages of children, persons with disabilities were high were also greatly affected.
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