Based on the raw numbers, Monroe County, Indiana, shows an apparent racial and ethnic disparity in COVID-19 vaccination rates.
That disparity starts to shrink, but not necessarily disappear, if the analysis accounts for differences in age distribution for different racial or ethnic groups in the county.
Reacting to potential racial disparities in COVID-19 vaccination rates, activist Vauhxx Booker told The Square Beacon it’s important to account for the age distribution, because that affects the kind of narratives that get told about the differences in vaccination rates.
Based on data from Indiana’s department of health, just 1.70 percent of those who are fully vaccinated in Monroe County so far are Hispanic (284 of 16,667), compared to 3.55 percent of Hispanics in the general population. But based on 2019 estimates from the US Census, Hispanics make up just 1.52 percent of the county’s population that is older than 50.
The age distribution of race and ethnicity matters, because up until just recently, it has been just older Hoosiers—other than front-line health care workers—who have been eligible for the vaccine. For the last couple of weeks, the eligibility age bracket has included only those 50 and older.
As of Monday in Monroe County, 75 percent of those who are fully vaccinated are older than 50.
If the 50+ universe is taken as a measuring rod for disparity, even if it might be imprecise, then the Hispanic population is actually “overrepresented” among the vaccinated—by 0.18 points.
Tuesday’s news that those as young as 45 are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination could mean that disparities in raw numbers could start to level out more. Continue reading “Racial, ethnic differences in Monroe County COVID-19 vaccination rates smaller when age considered”