Drexel’s Urban Health Collaborative Launches COVID-19 Data Dashboard on Vaccination Disparities | Now
The Urban health cooperation, housed in Dr Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health, recently released his “COVID-19 urban health inequalitiesDashboard – Uncovering ingrained inequalities in cities across the United States through the lens of more comprehensive data on COVID-19 outcomes. Unlike other COVID-19 dashboards that look at data on a larger scale, the Drexel website provides data on inequalities in the individual (racial / ethnic differences), in the neighborhood (using zip codes and social vulnerability measures for the centers for disease control and prevention), and city (characteristics such as overcrowding, health infrastructure, etc.) for COVID-19 outcomes, including vaccination rates.
The tool helps policymakers, public health officials, researchers, journalists, and others working in the fight against COVID-19 instantly put together charts and graphs of up-to-date data on various COVID-19 outcomes.
Available on the platform (with data updated daily, weekly or monthly):
- Differences in vaccination rates between different races / ethnic groups and neighborhoods
- Citywide reports on overall tests, cases, hospital admissions, and deaths, and trends in these metrics over time
- Inequalities in COVID-19 outcomes by race / ethnicity in different cities
- Data on COVID-19 outcomes by neighborhood within cities and how the results vary based on neighborhood characteristics such as poverty, housing conditions, and types of employment.
“Reaching all communities is the only way to get this pandemic under control,” said co-lead investigator Usama Bilal, MD, PhD, Assistant professor at the Dornsife School of Public Health in Drexel. “As this tool shows, there is still a lot of work to do in the US to ensure marginalized communities have the resources to fight the spread of COVID-19.”
The platform’s data shows that neighborhoods with lower scores on the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index – which examines socio-economic status, household data, minority status, spoken language, and housing style, and means of transport – have lower vaccination rates than neighborhoods that are in almost every U.S. city wealthy.
Racial inequalities are also consistent across cities. Among all 15 cities with available vaccination data, non-Hispanic black residents had lower vaccination rates than white residents. The same is true for vaccination among Hispanics – with the exception of San Francisco, where Hispanics and white residents were fully vaccinated at similar rates.
“We hope that the information on inequalities within and between cities in this dashboard can be useful not only to scientists and practitioners, but also to the public in understanding the underlying causes of health inequalities and what we as a society are doing about it should. “” said the chief investigator Ana V. Diez Roux, MD, PhD, Dean of the Dornsife School of Public Health.
The Drexel platform also shows the percentage of missing data for each city – an important loophole that needs to be closed in order to address racial differences in testing, vaccinations, and COVID-19 health outcomes. For example, there was no data on race and ethnicity for almost half of the vaccinations in the first month of the vaccine introduction (December 14, 2020 to January 14, 2021). That number has improved slightly since then, but racial data is still not available for approx. 43% of those who have been vaccinated so far.
The data in this accessible tool is partly provided by local health authorities, which are members of. are The metropolitan health coalition (BCHC). The BCHC is a forum for leaders of America’s largest metropolitan health agencies to develop strategies and work together to promote and protect the health and safety of the approximately 62 million people they serve. The COVID-19 Health Inequities in Cities Project is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the de Beaumont Foundation.
Members of the data team also recently did a study in. released Internal Medicine Annals found that the markers for the impact of the pandemic – test rates, positivity rate (cases below all tests), case rates by total population, and deaths – are grouped into neighborhoods, with low-income and mostly minority communities scoring worse than wealthier and mostly white neighborhoods. The results are part of the first study to examine comprehensive neighborhood-level data from March through September 2020 from three major US cities: Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia.
In addition to Bilal and Diez-Roux, Drexel employees are Jennifer Kolker, Sharrelle Barber, ScD, Pricila Mullachery, PhD, Alina Schnake-Mahl, ScD, Edwin McCulley, Vaishnavi Vaidya, Allison Gibson, Ran Li, Heather Rollins, Alyssa Furukawa, Celina Koh, Asma Sharaf and Kristina Dureja, all from Drexel.