Cover: Geospatially Clustered Low COVID-19 Vaccine Rates Among Adolescents in Socially Vulnerable US Counties

Geospatially Clustered Low COVID-19 Vaccine Rates Among Adolescents in Socially Vulnerable US Counties

Published in: Preventive Medicine Reports (2023). doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2023.102545

Posted on rand.org Dec 14, 2023

by Sophie R. Alphonso, Marcus R. Andrews, Seann D. Regan, Alyssa Shishkov, Jonathan H. Cantor, Tiffany M. Powell-Wiley, Kosuke Tamura

COVID-19 vaccinations are widely available across the United States (U.S.), yet little is known about the spatial clustering of COVID-19 vaccinations. This study aimed to test for geospatial clustering of COVID-19 vaccine rates among adolescents aged 12-17 across the U.S. counties and to compare these clustering patterns by sociodemographic characteristics. County-level data on COVID-19 vaccinations and sociodemographic characteristics were obtained from the COVID-19 Community Profile Report up to April 14, 2022. A total of 3,108 counties were included in the analysis. Global Moran's I statistic and Anselin Local Moran's analysis were used, and clustering patterns were compared to sociodemographic variables using t-tests. Counties with low COVID-19 vaccinated clusters were more likely, when compared to unclustered counties, to have higher numbers of individuals in poverty and uninsured individuals, and higher values of Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) and COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Index (CCVI). While high COVID-19 vaccinated clusters, compared to neighboring counties, had lower numbers of Black population, individuals in poverty, and uninsured individuals, and lower values of SVI and CCVI, but a higher number of Hispanic population. This study emphasizes the importance of addressing systemic barriers, such as poverty and lack of health insurance, which were found to be associated with low COVID-19 vaccination coverage.

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