FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2021
The Colorado Health Institute has launched online vaccine equity map that can help users identify populations and communities disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and track vaccination progress across the state.
“We hope this tool can be used by groups across the state that are specifically interested in supporting the communities at greatest risk of falling behind on vaccine access,” says Emily Johnson, Director of Policy Analysis at the Colorado Health Institute.
The first maps show the percentage of the population age 18 and older who have been vaccinated in areas identified as high need due to poverty rates and racial or ethnic makeup. Users can see how these rates have changed over time relative to the state average. In some metro Denver communities, rates are reported by census tract, while other regions show county-level data.
Additional maps incorporating data from CHI’s previously released Social Distancing Index, race/ethnicity, income, and age provide context to help users understand where the need for vaccine equity efforts may be the greatest.
“It is absolutely essential to the equitable distribution of vaccines to all Coloradans that we use the data we have to make the best decisions we can about where we put our resources,” said Dr. Oswaldo Grenardo, tri-chair of the Colorado Vaccine Equity Taskforce and a physician with Centura Health Systems. “We know that many communities that have suffered systemic racism are disconnected from our health care system. And that means they are disconnected from these life-saving vaccines. We’ve got to bring all the data we can to bear to ensure we are finding these communities and making that connection.”
The data show that in many of the state’s more vulnerable areas, including northern Denver and Saguache County, vaccination rates are far behind the state average. But there are more promising findings as well — in much of the San Luis Valley and in other communities with lower incomes, such as Athmar Park, more than a third of adults have gotten the shots.
The maps were created to support Colorado’s vaccine equity efforts, which are being led by Immunize Colorado and the Colorado Vaccine Equity Task Force. The data is also being used to support Together We Protect, Colorado’s COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Fund, as it prioritizes funding support for vaccine equity efforts.
The maps are available at https://colo.health/vax-equity and will be updated as new information becomes available.
Contact: Kristi Arellano, Colorado Health Institute, 720.382.7080, email@example.com