Blacks and Hispanics Miss Covid-19 Tests and Vaccinations

Blacks and Hispanics Miss Covid-19 Tests and Vaccinations

States are able to utilize — and publish — the data they collect beyond these federal regulatory constraints, and the JHU dashboard that attempts to standardize the data states put out offers perhaps the most detailed demographic look at various Covid-19 metrics. States do report this information to the CDC, but the resulting datasets are limited by federal reporting requirements, Beth Blauer, executive director and co-founder of the Centers for Civic Impact at JHU, told CNN. But while JHU’s data showcases the persistent disparities in Covid-19 risk for certain demographic groups, it’s also readily apparent that there is also a persistent lack of available data necessary to track and improve upon those disparities.

Similar trends can be seen for testing, though only eight states track the share of Covid-19 tests by race and ethnicity along with cases and deaths. Of the 37 states that track cases and vaccinations by ethnicity, Hispanic people represent a smaller share of vaccinations than they do cases in all but four states. And of the 39 states that track by race, Black people represent a smaller share of vaccinations than they do cases in all but six states.

For the past six months or so, JHU has parsed through demographic data on Covid-19 cases, deaths, testing and vaccinations made publicly available by states. A new dashboard, published Tuesday, offers a state-by-state look at the data broken down by age, gender, race and ethnicity. Without the data, authorities can’t know what they need to do to fix disparities that can help the virus spread and prolong the pandemic. With it, problem areas become clear.

Also, states have six different ways to tabulate testing — the number of people tested or the number of specimens tested, for example — and six different ways to account for vaccinations, too. Poor data collection frameworks are present across the country, which is a larger referendum on the public health system in the US, Blauer told CNN. The share of data that has demographic detail attached to it has stayed pretty consistently below 60%. JHU found inconsistencies in the ways that racial and ethnic groups are defined among states, sometimes even across different metrics within the same state’s data.

Compiling this data was “complicated at every turn,” Blauer told CNN. “It’s indicative of a lack of leadership and lack of focus on standardizing data.” Inconsistent data complicates the effort

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