D.C.’s Vaccination Needs to Step Up

I know I’m repeating myself, but there are two dominant themes in D.C.’s faltering vaccination efforts. Before we get to that, I’ve put together a table of the percentage of each ward that is partially or fully vaccinated (third column), and fully vaccinated (fourth column), extrapolated from D.C.’s percentages of each ward* that is fully vaccinated (second column):


Ward D.C. full partial & fully fully only
1 40 63 52
2 41 65 53
3 44 70 57
4 42 66 55
5 38 60 49
6 46 73 60
7 25 40 32
8 19 30 25

D.C. misses about 23 percent of the people who are vaccinated**, and the last two columns are predictions assuming the ‘missing 23 percent’ is distributed in the same way the 77 percent D.C. does track is. Note that if some wards don’t tap into the missing 23 percent, these estimates would be different. If, for example, people in Ward 3 had a disproportionate share of the missing 23 percent, then Ward 3 might have 65 percent of its population are fully vaccinated, not 57 percent. Also, take these with a grain of salt, they are estimates.

As has been the case throughout the pandemic, Wards 7 and 8 are suffering the most, with extremely low level of vaccination, comparable to many Southern states. Needless to say, if there is a late summer or early fall ‘semi-surge’, east-of-the-river will be hit very hard.

But what is, in some ways, more disconcerting are the wealthy wards. Given that new vaccinations are grinding to a halt (the percentage of vaccinated people is only increasing by about one percent per week), what is going on in those wards? For most, economic hardship really isn’t an issue: these aren’t just better off wards, in a very real sense, they are wealthy, as wealthy as any suburb (wealthier than most, actually), yet too many still aren’t getting vaccinated.

While Wards 7 and 8 are doing poorly in an absolute sense–if there’s a spike some months from now, it will hit there the hardest, there is another problem of a subset of those who have the most doing nothing to help others by getting vaccinated. Because COVID-19 doesn’t grade on a curve.

*Data are from June 7, the last date D.C. released ward level data for vaccination.

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1 Response to D.C.’s Vaccination Needs to Step Up

  1. Pingback: Kids, Delta, and Household COVID-19 Transmission | Mike the Mad Biologist

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