Baltimore City Vaccination Rate Among Top 3 Percent of United States Jurisdictions with Similar Population Characteristics
Thursday Sep 9th, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD. (Thursday, September 9, 2021) — Baltimore City’s vaccination rate is one of the highest in a cohort of jurisdictions organized by sociodemographic characteristics, according to a new comparative analysis conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Compared to other jurisdictions in the “semi-urban, mid/low socioeconomic status” cohort, Baltimore City consistently reported higher vaccination coverage while data was being gathered. As of June 30, 2021, 60 percent of the 12+ population in Baltimore City was vaccinated, higher than 317 of 326 jurisdictions. Additionally, the cumulative COVID-19 incidence rate in Baltimore City was in the lowest 20 percent (lower than 265 of 326 jurisdictions) and the cumulative mortality rate was in the lowest 30 percent (lower than 237 of 326 jurisdictions) as of June 30, 2021.
“The analysis by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shows that Baltimore’s equitable approach towards confronting COVID-19 is working,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “Through a coordinated effort that embraces science and data, we have saved countless lives and protected many Baltimoreans from the worst of COVID-19. This progress reflects the tireless efforts of the Baltimore City Health Department and our courageous first responders and health care professionals. I also want to thank every organization and concerned neighbor in Baltimore who encouraged friends and loved ones to wear a mask and get vaccinated throughout this pandemic.”
“The City’s COVID-19 response efforts have always been collective and collaborative, involving multiple partners and stakeholders across the City,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa. “ While there is still much work to be done to vaccinate our residents, this comparative analysis shows what we can do as a City when working together towards the common goal of protecting the health of all residents.”
The analysis was conducted by Dr. Kyu Han Lee, a research associate, and Dr. Melissa Marx, assistant professor of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Methods to group jurisdictions of similar sociodemographic characteristics and compare health outcomes between counties were first developed by Wallace et. al in their paper “Comparison of US County-Level Public Health Performance Rankings With County Cluster and National Rankings.” Identified characteristics, including race/ethnicity, educational attainment, age, marital status, employment status, sex, and health insurance status were used to assign counties into eight groups with similar sociodemographic profiles. Baltimore City is one of 326 US counties in the “semi-urban, mid/low socioeconomic status” group.
Between July 2020 to October 2020 and November 2020 to February 2021, Baltimore City reported fewer cases and deaths per population than most other counties. However, according to the study, Baltimore City experienced spikes in the spring of 2020 and the spring of 2021 that exceeded most other jurisdictions in the cohort.
"This analysis uses a method of grouping counties previously established to identify counties with similar population characteristics," said Dr. Kyu Han Lee, the lead author. "Compared to most other counties in its group, Baltimore City has experienced fewer COVID cases, less mortality, and more vaccination."
Baltimore City continues to be among the highest in the week-by-week percent change in vaccination coverage for the adult population (18+) and older adult population (65+) across local jurisdictions in Maryland.
The Baltimore City Health Department provides information regarding the novel coronavirus at coronavirus.baltimorecity.gov. The COVID-19 mobile vaccination schedule can be found at baltimorecity.gov/bmorevax and is updated weekly. Individuals without access to the internet can call 443-984-8650 to chat with a representative from Baltimore City Health Department’s COVID Call Center.
If Baltimore residents have issues leaving their home they can register with our “VAX at Home” program to have vaccines brought to them and their caregivers, either by calling the COVID call center or registering at covax.baltimorecity.gov. The Baltimore City Health Department also provides free COVID-19 testing at mobile sites across the City, which can be found at coronavirus.baltimorecity.gov/testing.
With the increased risk posed by the Delta variant, all residents should continue to practice harm reduction techniques to reduce the spread of disease, including regular handwashing, wearing a mask while indoors, maintaining social distance, and getting vaccinated.