The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “social vulnerability index” has formed the basis for the state’s prioritization system and has been a reliable indicator of low vaccine uptake. Generally speaking, the higher a community’s SVI score, the lower its vaccination rate, a CT Mirror analysis found.
An estimated 32% of the state’s eligible population lives in the state’s priority ZIP codes, and the state aims to administer the same percentage of vaccines within those communities. While the state inches closer to that goal each week, the statewide slowdown in the number of shots administered means that it has a lot of ground to make up. Of all the vaccines administered so far, just 25% of all vaccines distributed as of last week have gone to residents of those ZIP codes.
“Progress is slower now,” said Josh Geballe, the state’s chief operating officer, at a recent press conference.
From March 1 through August 22, 2020, 146 557 deaths were recorded in California, with an estimated 19 806 (95% prediction interval, 16 364-23 210) deaths in excess of those predicted by historical trends (Table). Per capita excess mortality was highest among people aged 65 years and older, men, Black and Latino residents, and those without a college degree. Comparing deaths in March through April vs May through August, Latino residents and those without a high school degree or general education development (GED) certificate had the greatest increase in excess deaths, with Latino deaths tripling (from 16 to 51 excess deaths per million) and deaths in those without a high school degree/GED increasing by a factor of 3.4 (from 21 to 72 excess deaths per million). Across age groups, younger adults had the greatest increases in excess death, with rates more than doubling between shutdown and reopening (age, 25-54 years: from 4 to 11 excess deaths per million, 55-64 years: from 12 to 30 excess deaths per million).
In most weeks of the pandemic, Black residents had higher per capita excess mortality than other racial/ethnic group (Figure). Late in the shelter-in-place period, White, Asian, and Black residents had a decline in excess per capita mortality. In contrast, Latino residents and those without a high school degree/GED saw a substantial and sustained increase in per capita mortality.
Author(s): Yea-Hung Chen, PhD, MS1; M. Maria Glymour, ScD, MS2; Ralph Catalano, PhD, MRP3; et al