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Cook County Department of Public Health Statement on Updated Vaccination Rates Based on Census 2020 Data

Nov 4, 2021 | Press Release

Cook County Department of Public Health Statement on Updated Vaccination Rates Based on Census 2020 Data

Since vaccinations arrived late last year, Cook County Department of Health has measured vaccination rates against figures from the 2010 Census, knowing that, at some point, 2020 Census figures would arrive to provide a more accurate measure of COVID-19 and vaccination rates in the county.

When 2020 Census figures became available, CCDPH updated its COVID-19 statistics . The changing demographics and municipal population figures clearly spell out the situation in Cook County and give our vaccination efforts a clear focus and direction. Specifically, race and ethnicity numbers from the Census are now available; we will continue using 2010 data for age and sex until those numbers from the 2020 Census are made available.

In addition, CCDPH has implemented a new process to geocode addresses to improve the accuracy of address data received from the state’s data systems. This will allow CCDPH to better distinguish between incorporated and unincorporated addresses and to correct inaccurate information. Essentially, residents who live in unincorporated areas of the county, but must list a city or town in their mailing addresses, have been removed from that municipality’s vaccine counts.

Key Points

  • Overall vaccination coverage and jurisdiction case rates remain largely the same.
  • The use of 2020 census data changes population denominators, which affects rates of cases and vaccination.
  • The numerators – the numbers of vaccine doses or cases still come from the same source – state databases for immunization and communicable disease reporting, respectively.
  • Municipal populations may have decreased in some towns, making vaccination rates higher than initial data indicated.

Using the new census data

  • Overall, 70 percent of towns in suburban Cook County have new vaccination coverage rates that are within 5 percentage points of their previous rate.
  • Case rates for non-Hispanic Whites increased.
  • Case rates for Hispanic/Latinx residents decreased.
  • Case rates for non-Hispanic Blacks stayed about the same.
    • As a result, the gap between racial and ethnic groups narrowed slightly but disparities remain.
  • Vaccination rates for non-Hispanic Whites increased.
  • Vaccination rates for Hispanic/Latinx residents decreased.
  • Vaccination rates for non-Hispanic Blacks remained largely the same.
    • As a result, disparities in vaccination rates have widened.

We now know, for example, that about 70 towns are below the 70 percent vaccination rate threshold, for first doses. In order for suburban Cook County to be safe, healthy and protected from COVID-19, having each town cross this initial 70 percent milestone is critical. There is much work beyond that point, no doubt, but converting “70 Under 70” to “70 Over 70” gives us a collective measure of lifting the floor for our most vulnerable and least vaccinated cities and towns.

Together We’ll Get There.

Anticipated Approval of Vaccine for Children 5-11

With the anticipated approval of vaccine for children 5-11 years old by the CDC this week, 94 percent of all county residents will be eligible to be vaccinated. We are in touch with each of the more than 700 schools in our jurisdiction as well as pediatricians throughout the county to facilitate convenient vaccinations of children. We hope to see families coming out to get vaccinated together, particularly to be able to celebrate safe and healthy holidays with extended family and friends.

As always, parents, families, and individuals who want free transportation to and from a vaccination site can utilize Cook County’s “Destination: Vaccination” program. They can leave the driving to us by calling 833-308-1988 to find the most convenient vaccine location and book a ride to and from that site at no charge. Child seats and vehicles for the physically challenged are available.

Dr. Kiran Joshi
Dr. Rachel Rubin
Co-Leads and Senior Medical Officers
Cook County Department of Public Health