Demographic and Social Factors Associated with COVID-19 Vaccination Initiation Among Adults Aged ≥65 Years - United States, December 14, 2020-April 10, 2021.MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021 May 14; 70(19):725-730.MM
Compared with other age groups, older adults (defined here as persons aged ≥65 years) are at higher risk for COVID-19-associated morbidity and mortality and have therefore been prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination (1,2). Ensuring access to vaccines for older adults has been a focus of federal, state, and local response efforts, and CDC has been monitoring vaccination coverage to identify and address disparities among subpopulations of older adults (2). Vaccine administration data submitted to CDC were analyzed to determine the prevalence of COVID-19 vaccination initiation among adults aged ≥65 years by demographic characteristics and overall. Characteristics of counties with low vaccination initiation rates were quantified using indicators of social vulnerability data from the 2019 American Community Survey.* During December 14, 2020-April 10, 2021, nationwide, a total of 42,736,710 (79.1%) older adults had initiated vaccination. The initiation rate was higher among men than among women and varied by state. On average, counties with low vaccination initiation rates (<50% of older adults having received at least 1 vaccine dose), compared with those with high rates (≥75%), had higher percentages of older adults without a computer, living in poverty, without Internet access, and living alone. CDC, state, and local jurisdictions in partnerships with communities should continue to identify and implement strategies to improve access to COVID-19 vaccination for older adults, such as assistance with scheduling vaccination appointments and transportation to vaccination sites, or vaccination at home if needed for persons who are homebound.† Monitoring demographic and social factors affecting COVID-19 vaccine access for older adults and prioritizing efforts to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccine are needed to ensure high coverage among this group.