A coalition promoting equity in COVID-19 vaccination efforts released a data visualization showing lower youth vaccination rates in communities that are more vulnerable in emergencies and have higher COVID-19 incidence rates, while many municipalities with lower social vulnerability ratings and a lower incidence of the virus have higher vaccination rates among 12- to 19-year-olds.

One notable outlier, the Vaccine Equity Now! Coalition said, is the city of Chelsea.

The severity of the pandemic’s early toll in Chelsea made national headlines, and the coalition said the city has one of the state’s highest incidences of COVID-19.

Ninety-nine percent of Chelsea youth between the ages of 12 and 19 have been vaccinated against COVID-19, which the coalition attributed largely to “Chelsea’s community-led, person-to-person vaccination efforts championed by community organizations, like La Colaborativa.”

The vaccination campaign in Chelsea “should serve as a model for advancing equitable vaccination strategies across the Commonwealth,” the coalition said in a statement. 

Chelsea’s youth vaccination rate puts it in line with more affluent suburban communities with lower social vulnerability rankings and lower COVID-19 incidence levels, the coalition found.

In Sudbury, the vaccine rate for that age range is 99.9 percent, and it is 98.6 percent in Arlington and 96.7 percent in Swampscott.

As of Nov. 18, 74.6 percent of 12- to 19-year-olds were vaccinated statewide, and the state’s cumulative COVID-19 incidence rate was 11.9 percent, the coalition said, referencing state vaccine equity data.

The coalition spotlighted a handful of communities with high social vulnerability and a higher COVID-19 incidence rate than the state as a whole that have lower vaccine rates for youths aged 12-19: New Bedford (48.6 percent), Springfield (51 percent), Fall River (51.7 percent), and Lawrence (66.8 percent).

(Copyright (c) 2021 State House News Service.

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