Residents deserve clear immunization data

Posted: 08/23/2021 20:11:38 PM A recent article (“Health board OKs indoor mask rule,” August 13) on Amherst’s reinstated new mask m...

Posted: 08/23/2021 20:11:38 PM

A recent article (“Health board OKs indoor mask rule,” August 13) on Amherst’s reinstated new mask mandate states that “the city’s official 40% vaccination rate is well below the 64.5% rate of condition, but may be based on incomplete data.

In fact, the data provided by the state is clearly wrong, as Board member Steve George suggests in this article. Specifically, our reported vaccination rate among university-aged residents appears to be vastly underreported, arguably because the students who are counted in our census have their vaccinations recorded under their home (non-Amherst) address.

The simplest way to look at this is to look at the two age groups that include most college-aged students: for Amherst / Pelham, as of August 12, only 12% of 16-19 year olds and 24% of 20 -29 years. the elderly were fully immunized. In contrast, 69% of the city’s 12-15 year-olds – who have had access to the vaccine for less time – have been fully immunized.

There is a similar but smaller gap in Northampton, where the college-age population (both Smith College students and other students who live in Northampton but attend UMass, for example) is smaller than Amherst. Since all Five College students need to be vaccinated to go to school in the fall, they’re almost certainly vaccinated now – it’s just their data showing up in someone else’s town.

Vaccines are the most powerful way to stop this pandemic, and our health services need accurate information to understand where and how they should deploy their scarce resources to vaccinate as many of our residents as possible. As residents, we deserve clear information about our community that allows us to assess risks over the course of our lives.

I know that our elected officials are aware of this problem; I can only assume that since the problem persists, the state has not addressed their concerns. In the meantime, the Gazette and other local media can do a more comprehensive job of educating the public than saying the data “may be wrong,” yet a cursory analysis of publicly provided data by the state provides clear evidence. from the source. of the problem.

Kate queeney


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Newsrust - US Top News: Residents deserve clear immunization data
Residents deserve clear immunization data
Newsrust - US Top News
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