New dashboard traces who has and has not been vaccinated
By zip code and census tract
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Pima County Health Department has published a new dashboard to give residents a chance to see how their neighborhoods are doing when it comes to vaccinations.
It shows how many people have been vaccinated in zip codes, census tracts, communities, and school districts.
Green Valley leads the zip code category with 85622 at 81%, enough to achieve herd immunity.
The lowest zip code in 85602 which is less than one percent. The zip code includes Benson which is in Cochise County.
Oro Valley has the highest percentage of residents vaccinated while South Tucson has the lowest.
Continental Elementary has the highest percentage of those vaccinated while Empire Elementary has the lowest.
But the census tract will likely in the short term generate the most interest.
“Zip codes are huge by and large but census tracts are very localized,” said Dr. Francisco Garcia, the Chief Medical Officer for Pima County.
Whereas census tracts can pinpoint whether neighbors have been vaccinated, they can give general trends in specific neighborhoods.
“The idea is to identify those census tracts that need more tender, loving care, more attention,” Dr. Garcia said. “Using census tracts because that really allows you to home in on that smaller geography.”
Being able to track vaccinations down to the census tract is a valuable tool for gaining herd immunity which the county believes to be 70% to 75% of the adult population vaccinated.
“We are now in the ground war,” Dr. Garcia said.
The idea is to take the mobile units on the road to target areas that have been vaccine resistant, including the two new FEMA mobile sites.
But it may also give the county an opening to begin easing some restrictions.
“It’s clear to us that as we make progress, it may be reasonable at some point to loosen up restrictions in certain areas,” he said. “So this tool, this dashboard, allows us to think strategically how we might do that.”
Whether that means easing the mask restrictions has not been decided but Dr. Garcia did not rule that out.
“So you might say if you live, if you operate in a particular zip code, except for making sure your waiters are masked, you can let folks be unmasked,” he said.
But he says that’s still a work in progress and any changes would need to be approved by the board.
Still, the dashboard has piqued the interest of the community and has another value.
“Just like you did, I looked at my census tract and my census tract looks pretty darn good,” he said. “It makes me feel better about my neighbors and makes me feel better about local restaurants and stuff.”
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