Arizona’s Coronavirus Vaccination Dashboard Shows Racial Disparities, Missing Data

By Consumers For Quality Care, on March 12, 2021

Arizona’s Coronavirus Vaccination Dashboard Shows Racial Disparities, Missing Data

Coronavirus demographic data released by the Arizona Department of Health Services is limited when it comes to race and ethnicity, according to Arizona Republic.

On the state’s dashboard, 37% of individuals were listed as “other race/unknown.” About 48% of those who had received at least the first dose of the vaccine where white, whereas only about 8.2% were Hispanic or Latino. Arizona’s general population is 32% Hispanic or Latino.

At certain state-run drive through sites in Arizona, like two in Maricopa County, the disparity was even worse: 62% of individuals vaccinated there were white, and just 3.8% were Hispanic or Latino. There was no data on race for 29% of individuals.

Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ said the demographics of those vaccinated were not yet expected to align with the demographics of the general population because Arizona is still in an early phase of the vaccine rollout. In addition, she said, the demographics of prioritized groups for vaccination do not match those of the general population.

Additional data points are also missing from the demographics, like insurance status and zip code.

Some counties, like Pima County, are holding pop-up events to target populations with limited English literacy to ensure all ethnic groups have access to the vaccine.

Dr. Francisco Garcia, chief medical officer for Pima County, noted:

“If you look, for example, at the demographics of the state PODs [point of distribution sites] in particular, they are really pretty bad. … We need to redouble our efforts and I think that Pima County is on the right track.”