The NCDHHS has not updated its census tract vaccine map for 3 months. Why?
RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — A mapping tool that state leaders attribute to massive increases in vaccination rates for dozens of communities has not been updated in three months.
State Department of Health and Human Resources spokeswoman Bailey Pennington told CBS 17 the updates were delayed due to “efforts to verify information and remove duplicate records.” , but that an update is expected later this week.
the the map was last updated on June 1. He was the subject of a CBS 17 May Fact Checkwhen the NCDHHS said the mapping tool helped improve immunization rates by 50% in 89 underserved communities by identifying hotspots.
It identifies census tracts across the state with high rates of social vulnerability and low vaccination rates. DHHS focused what it called targeted outreach efforts on 90 of those sectors that met those two criteria — plus no COVID-19 vaccine suppliers — as of late April.
At the time, Dr. Charlene Wong, health policy manager for COVID-19 for DHHS, said she heard people across the state say that “this map is really changing the way we conduct our efforts to vaccination against COVID-19”.
The tool also showed that the census tract in North Raleigh where President Joe Biden spoke in late June to encourage people to get vaccinated was marked by an abnormally low vaccination rate and high social vulnerability to the virus.
The minority-marked area near the Green Road Community Center stands as an exception in one of the state’s top-performing counties.
Wednesday’s map showed the same numbers as during the president’s visit.
Public health officials in Wake and Durham counties say they put together those numbers on their own.
“We now have our data tracking and do our own census tract maps, and so we collect our own data,” Wardell said. “We identified the least vaccinated census tracts. And we have a whole strategy in place that we work in those census tracts to try to get people vaccinated using that data. »
She says the county keeps its own Social and Economic Vitality Index data and pulls numbers from the COVID-19 vaccine management system.
“And we have a very talented group of epidemiologists and data analysts who are looking at that data, compiling it and bringing it together into census tract maps for us so that we can clearly see where people are falling behind in vaccination,” she said. mentioned.
But that begs a question: If the DHHS map hasn’t been updated in months, and counties like Wake are collecting those numbers on their own, does the state map still have value ?
Wardell says yes.
“We just use it as a preview to see what’s going on,” she said. “But again, we’re digging into that data and developing our own strategies that are relevant and important to our communities here.”