Tuhina Srivastava

Neighborhood Vulnerability and COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage in Philadelphia, PA

covid-19 vaccination coverage in philadelphia
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T Srivastava1, H Schmidt2, J Holmes1, M Kornides3

  1. Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics, Perelman School of Medicine
  2. Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine
  3. Department of Family and Community Health, School of Nursing


During the COVID-19 pandemic, residents of color living in disadvantaged communities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania had disproportionately higher rates of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, as well as lower rates of COVID-19 vaccination compared to largely white communities. Given these disparities, our objective was to evaluate differences in neighborhood vulnerability by COVID-19 vaccination coverage at the census tract level in Philadelphia and to compare the performance of two statistical place-based measures of disadvantage (“disadvantage indices”). Neighborhood vulnerability was characterized by the CDC Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) and COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Index (CCVI). COVID-19 vaccination coverage (percent of population with 1+ vaccine doses) was obtained at the census tract level through OpenDataPhilly. Kruskal-Wallis tests showed a statistically significant difference in the median vulnerability score (p>0.001 for both SVI and CCVI, separately) between census tracts with similar vaccination coverage. Except for census tracts with <20% coverage, which had lower vulnerability scores (<60th percentile), tracts with higher coverage rates had lower overall vulnerability scores for both SVI and CCVI. SVI and CCVI were also highly correlated (Pearson correlation coefficient [95% CI] = 0.94 [0.93-0.95], p<0.001), suggesting similar performance between these indices in characterizing vulnerability. Our finding of lower vaccination rates among census tracts with higher vulnerability suggests that these communities should be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination outreach. Using disadvantage indices can aid with both routine and emergency public health programming, beyond COVID-19, and can help guide resource allocation to neighborhoods that may have a disproportionately greater need, mitigating existing health disparities.


vaccination, COVID-19, health disparities, disadvantage, vulnerability, vaccines, neighborhood


Super neat work! I love the exploration of neighborhood deprivation and other metrics of neighborhood disadvantage and the link with COVID-19 vaccination rates! :)

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