• HealthLandscape Introduces Vaccination Deficit Explorer

    New Tool Can Help FPs Target COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

    January 28, 2021, 8:55 am Michael Devitt — HealthLandscape, an innovation acquired by the AAFP in 2014, has released its new Vaccination Deficit Explorer, a free tool that can be a vital part of family physicians’ efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates in their communities.

    map with pins

    The explorer uses county-level data from previous annual influenza vaccination rates to estimate COVID-19 vaccination deficit rates (the number of COVID-19 vaccinations that may not be administered in each county), giving FPs and others much-needed information to achieve herd immunity in the community, and to help craft targeted efforts in specific areas where vaccination rates are low.

    “By mapping vaccination rates from previous influenza seasons and H1N1, we can better understand where efforts to vaccinate were most successful and similarly, where they fell short,” explained Jené Grandmont, M.A., HealthLandscape’s senior manager for application development and data services.

    Users can browse a map of the continental United States for quick comparisons of vaccination deficit rates in counties between states, or they can select individual states to view deficit rates in each state’s own counties.

    Rates can be filtered by the Community PPE Index, an indicator of public health readiness that measures each of three components — public health, primary care and health equity — on a 10-point scale. The higher the score, the better a community’s ability to respond to public health events such as a pandemic.

    Clicking on individual counties also reveals a range of data pertaining to demographics such as age and poverty level and the incidence of chronic conditions such as COPD, diabetes and kidney disease.

    Most recently, HealthLandscape added counts for the number of family physician practices in each county, which helps to illustrate areas where primary care clinicians could quickly and efficiently be deployed to provide vaccinations. Those numbers underscore the Academy’s call to HHS and state officials to prioritize community primary care physicians in their vaccination strategies.

    Combined, the data provide a window through which FPs and others can see which counties have the tools to effectively provide COVID-19 vaccinations in the community — and which counties may require assistance in vaccinating their residents as more doses of the vaccines become available.

    “This ‘hot-spotting’ and ‘cold-spotting’ exploration could yield important information for targeting immunization efforts, resources and educational outreach to specific geographic regions,” said Grandmont.

    The Vaccination Deficit Tracker is just one of several resources developed by HealthLandscape since its acquisition. Last year, it published a set of online mapping tools to help states and cities identify populations at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.