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Expand chart
Data: GoodRx analysis of Census and CDC data; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Where you live, how educated you are, whether you have health insurance and whether you have access to the internet are all correlated with how likely you are to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Why it matters: None of these factors has anything to do directly with an individual's risk. Instead, this emphasizes, yet again, the powerful role played by social determinants of health.

Driving the news: The CDC released a report yesterday showing that only 39% of Americans living in rural counties had been vaccinated as of early April, compared with 46% of people in urban counties.

  • Rural residents are among the demographics most likely to say they don't want a shot. But the CDC also found that a larger portion of rural than urban residents traveled to nonadjacent counties — or counties farther away from where they live — to be vaccinated, suggesting access issues.
Expand chart
Data: GoodRx analysis of Census and CDC data; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Between the lines: Experts have been warning of geographic, income, and racial vaccine disparities since before the vaccination effort even began. But other social factors also appear to have a relationship with vaccination rates, according to a new analysis by GoodRx.

  • For example, states with a higher portion of households without internet access tend to have lower vaccination rates. This could be related to the widespread use of online platforms for booking vaccine appointments.
  • States with higher uninsured rates also tend to have lower vaccination rates, even though uninsured Americans are receiving their shot for free. Polling has shown that a substantial number of people still have cost-related concerns about vaccination.

The bottom line: It's impossible to pull out a single factor and point to it as the driver of good or bad vaccination rates. Instead, these rates — like so many other health care statistics — are the product of a complex interplay of many social factors.

  • And many of these interrelated social factors are what made some of the same populations with lower vaccination rates more vulnerable to severe coronavirus infections to begin with.

Go deeper

Aug 27, 2021 - Health

Supreme Court blocks Biden's COVID eviction ban

Activists hold a protest against evictions near City Hall on August 11, 2021 in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty Images

The Supreme Court blocked President Biden's moratorium on evictions in a 6-3 ruling on Thursday.

Why it matters: Roughly 3.5 million people across the U.S. said they faced eviction in the next two months, per Census Bureau data from mid-August.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February — FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated".
  2. Vaccines: Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: Beijing Olympic Committee lowers COVID testing threshold ahead of Games — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Illinois issues indoor mask mandate, orders vaccines for educators

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday announced a statewide indoor mask mandate and vaccine requirements for state workers, including teachers and school staff.

Why it matters: The Democratic governor's latest restrictions come as COVID-19 cases across the state are on the upswing, largely driven by the Delta variant. "Unfortunately, we are running out of time as our hospitals run out of beds," Pritzker said at a news conference Thursday.