With the latest Omicron wave inflicting elevated circumstances and hospitalizations, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) has warned that greater than a half of the U.S. inhabitants lives in a county with a medium to excessive COVID-19 neighborhood degree – that’s, with comparatively excessive numbers of latest COVID-19 circumstances per 100,000, new COVID-19 hospital admissions, and strains on hospital capability resulting from COVID-19. Along with recommending vaccination and boosters for everybody age 5 or older, CDC additionally recommends sporting masks in public indoor settings in counties with excessive COVID-19 neighborhood ranges; in medium-level counties, CDC says masking must be thought of based mostly on private threat.
A person’s vulnerability to the virus that causes COVID-19 might rely upon various elements together with, however not restricted to, their vaccination standing, historical past of prior an infection, age, well being standing, and quantity of publicity. CDC knowledge point out the chance of hospitalization or dying resulting from COVID-19 is considerably larger amongst those that are unvaccinated in comparison with these vaccinated with at the least a major collection and particularly in comparison with those that additionally obtained a booster dose.
We sought to higher perceive how many individuals could be notably susceptible within the present context as a result of they’re both unvaccinated, together with those that are usually not but eligible for vaccination (kids underneath 5 years outdated), or not updated on vaccines and reside in counties with elevated (“medium” or “excessive”) COVID-19 neighborhood ranges within the U.S.—areas the place the CDC recommends masking in at the least some circumstances. We outline being “updated” on vaccines as having obtained a major collection and at the least one booster dose. Though CDC now recommends second booster pictures for folks ages 50 and over or those that are immunocompromised, there are at the moment no county-level knowledge out there on the variety of booster doses folks have obtained. We used CDC’s COVID-19 neighborhood ranges and vaccination knowledge by county as of June 2, 2022 (see Strategies for extra element).
- There are 120 million folks dwelling in counties with elevated COVID-19 neighborhood ranges who are usually not updated on their COVID-19 vaccines. These embrace those that are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and those that are vaccinated however not but boosted, placing them at larger threat of extreme sickness and dying. Collectively, they characterize about half of all these within the U.S. who are usually not updated on vaccines.
- Of those, 36 million folks in these counties are unvaccinated together with 14 million dwelling in counties with excessive COVID-19 neighborhood ranges. In complete, we estimate that 41% of unvaccinated folks (those that didn’t obtain any COVID-19 vaccine doses) within the U.S. reside in a county with medium or excessive COVID-19 neighborhood ranges.
- There are one other 20 million folks in these counties who’re partially vaccinated together with 8 million dwelling in counties with excessive COVID-19 neighborhood ranges. In complete, we estimate that 61% of all partially vaccinated folks (those that obtained at the least one COVID-19 vaccine dose however didn’t full the first collection) within the U.S. reside in a county with medium or excessive COVID-19 neighborhood ranges.
- Moreover, there are 64 million people who find themselves vaccinated however not but boosted and reside in counties with elevated neighborhood ranges, together with 25 million who reside in high-level counties. In complete, we estimate 58% of individuals within the U.S. who’re vaccinated with a major collection however stay un-boosted reside in medium or excessive COVID-19 neighborhood degree counties.
CDC recommends that each one folks masks indoors in areas which have excessive COVID-19 neighborhood ranges, and that folks dwelling in medium-level counties masks based mostly on their private threat. Individuals who reside in these areas who are usually not updated on vaccines are amongst those that are notably susceptible throughout a surge. That is particularly the case for the 14 million people who find themselves unvaccinated and reside in excessive COVID-19 neighborhood degree counties; for these people, their threat of hospitalization and dying from COVID-19 is considerably larger than in the event that they have been vaccinated. As well as, individuals who obtained their major COVID-19 vaccine collection however haven’t but obtained a booster additionally face larger dangers than those that have been boosted, since immunity can wane over time and new viral variants and subvariants make breakthrough infections extra seemingly. Though we don’t embrace them on this complete, there are others who’re in danger even when they’ve obtained a booster shot, for instance those that are immune compromised or who’re advisable to obtain a second booster however haven’t but carried out so. Lastly, even people who reside in counties deemed to be at low COVID-19 neighborhood ranges, notably those that have an underlying well being situation or are older, might face threat and even severe well being outcomes in the event that they have been to get COVID, particularly if they continue to be unvaccinated or unboosted. As such, masking would provide important safety to them as nicely.
These knowledge underscore the numerous vulnerability to COVID-19 sickness that also exists right now, greater than a yr since vaccines turned extensively out there within the U.S. to most individuals. As such, they level to the significance of using different public well being measures, resembling masking and testing, along with vaccination, in lots of components of the nation.
|COVID-19 Neighborhood Degree: COVID-19 neighborhood degree knowledge have been sourced from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) “United States COVID-19 Neighborhood Ranges by County,” utilizing knowledge launched on June 2, 2022. Counties missing a COVID-19 neighborhood degree have been excluded.
COVID-19 Vaccinations: County-level knowledge on COVID-19 vaccinations have been sourced from the CDC “COVID-19 Vaccinations in america, County” utilizing knowledge reported as June 2, 2022. Solely knowledge from the 50 states and District of Columbia have been included (knowledge from territories have been excluded as territories are usually not included within the COVID-19 neighborhood degree dataset). Counties missing any vaccination knowledge have been additionally excluded from this evaluation. In some circumstances, the residence county is unknown, and due to this fact these vaccination knowledge can’t be attributed to a selected county. Nonetheless, for states the place just one COVID-19 neighborhood degree was potential as of June 2, 2022, specifically, Arkansas (Low), Delaware (Excessive), the District of Columbia (Medium), and Rhode Island (Medium), vaccination knowledge with unknown county info however attributed to those states have been coded because the corresponding COVID-19 neighborhood degree. Different vaccination knowledge with out county info and never attributed to those states have been excluded from the evaluation. For that reason, we’re doubtlessly overestimating the variety of folks not updated on vaccination. We outline updated on COVID-19 vaccination as individuals who have accomplished a major collection and obtained a booster. We calculate the quantity not updated on COVID-19 vaccination as inhabitants in every county minus individuals who obtained major collection and booster. We calculate the variety of unvaccinated folks because the distinction between the county inhabitants and the quantity of people that have obtained at the least a primary dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. In few counties the place the inhabitants estimate exceeds the quantity of people that have obtained a primary dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the variety of unvaccinated people is assumed to be 0. We calculate people who find themselves partially vaccinated because the quantity of people that accomplished major collection minus those that obtained at the least one dose. We calculate the variety of those who have accomplished a major collection however not obtained a booster because the distinction between the quantity of people that have accomplished a major collection and the quantity of people that have obtained a booster dose. Though the CDC now recommends that each one immunocompromised people and folks over the age of fifty obtain a second booster dose, there are at the moment no county-level knowledge out there on the variety of booster doses obtained. Due to this fact, we’re unable to seize what number of people are absolutely updated on COVID-19 vaccines. (An earlier model of this evaluation acknowledged there have been 100 million individuals who weren’t up-to-date on vaccines in counties with elevated threat. We’ve got up to date this evaluation to incorporate 20 million partially vaccinated folks for a complete of 120 million folks.)