Feb 25, 2021 - News

Data firm predicts "complete chaos" in next phases of Florida's vaccine rollout

Illustration of the coronavirus vaccine and the Tampa skyline, over a pattern of palm trees.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Cogitativo, a data science company, has completed a COVID-19 project for the federal government to identify the most vulnerable communities in some of the largest states. It is predicting that the next two phases of vaccine rollout could descend into "complete chaos" due to faulty distribution plans.

Why it matters: Current vaccine distribution is based on less precise recommendations from the CDC, using pre-determined priority populations and the Social Vulnerability Index.

  • The company is urging states and hospitals to overhaul vaccine distribution using better data.

But, but, but: The company argues that a more surgical distribution model that assesses individual risk based on clinical factors — prevalence of obesity, for instance — and social determinants of health — like air quality — will save lives.

The company is predicting:

  • The top five counties for deficits will be Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, Hillsborough and Palm Beach.
  • 48% of Florida counties will see a deficit in doses under the current approach — a shortage of 694,990 doses for Florida counties.
  • A total of more than 840,760 additional hospitalizations can be prevented and nearly 100,000 lives saved by using Cogitativo's distribution model.

This story first appeared in the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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