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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(28): 991-996, 2021 Jul 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1311471


COVID-19 has disproportionately affected non-Hispanic Black or African American (Black) and Hispanic persons in the United States (1,2). In North Carolina during January-September 2020, deaths from COVID-19 were 1.6 times higher among Black persons than among non-Hispanic White persons (3), and the rate of COVID-19 cases among Hispanic persons was 2.3 times higher than that among non-Hispanic persons (4). During December 14, 2020-April 6, 2021, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) monitored the proportion of Black and Hispanic persons* aged ≥16 years who received COVID-19 vaccinations, relative to the population proportions of these groups. On January 14, 2021, NCDHHS implemented a multipronged strategy to prioritize COVID-19 vaccinations among Black and Hispanic persons. This included mapping communities with larger population proportions of persons aged ≥65 years among these groups, increasing vaccine allocations to providers serving these communities, setting expectations that the share of vaccines administered to Black and Hispanic persons matched or exceeded population proportions, and facilitating community partnerships. From December 14, 2020-January 3, 2021 to March 29-April 6, 2021, the proportion of vaccines administered to Black persons increased from 9.2% to 18.7%, and the proportion administered to Hispanic persons increased from 3.9% to 9.9%, approaching the population proportion aged ≥16 years of these groups (22.3% and 8.0%, respectively). Vaccinating communities most affected by COVID-19 is a national priority (5). Public health officials could use U.S. Census tract-level mapping to guide vaccine allocation, promote shared accountability for equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines with vaccine providers through data sharing, and facilitate community partnerships to support vaccine access and promote equity in vaccine uptake.

COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , /statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/ethnology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Care Rationing/methods , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Middle Aged , North Carolina/epidemiology , Vaccination Coverage/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
J Am Med Inform Assoc ; 28(2): 393-401, 2021 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1054313


Our goal is to summarize the collective experience of 15 organizations in dealing with uncoordinated efforts that result in unnecessary delays in understanding, predicting, preparing for, containing, and mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic in the US. Response efforts involve the collection and analysis of data corresponding to healthcare organizations, public health departments, socioeconomic indicators, as well as additional signals collected directly from individuals and communities. We focused on electronic health record (EHR) data, since EHRs can be leveraged and scaled to improve clinical care, research, and to inform public health decision-making. We outline the current challenges in the data ecosystem and the technology infrastructure that are relevant to COVID-19, as witnessed in our 15 institutions. The infrastructure includes registries and clinical data networks to support population-level analyses. We propose a specific set of strategic next steps to increase interoperability, overall organization, and efficiencies.

COVID-19 , Electronic Health Records , Information Dissemination , Information Systems/organization & administration , Public Health Practice , Academic Medical Centers , Humans , Registries , United States