COVID-19 Vaccination Data Reporting Changes

This week, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) made several changes in the way it reports data related to COVID-19. MDPH is now publishing its COVID-19 Interactive Data Dashboard on a weekly basis rather than five days per week; this dashboard reports such items as COVID-19 cases, testing and hospitalizations. Specific changes in the state’s Interactive Data Dashboard are described here.  Cambridge will continue to update cases five days per week. According to State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown, the changes are “part of our ongoing efforts to adapt to the pandemic and focus on the metrics most useful at a given time.” The state has removed higher education data, for example, due to the decrease in surveillance testing in those settings, and modified COVID-19 vaccination reporting.


Changes at the state level will affect some data reported in the Cambridge COVID-19 Data Center, including the way vaccination information is displayed. The data center will no longer report the number of residents who are partially vaccinated, and will add a category indicating how many residents have received a second booster dose. 


Importantly, MDPH has worked with the UMASS Donahue Institute to update population estimates for each municipality in the Commonwealth.  For Cambridge, this resulted in an increase of 6,414 residents (from 111,989 to 118,403).  While the number of vaccinations administered has not decreased, the updated and more accurate higher population numbers result in slightly lower reported vaccination rates than were shown in previous weeks. The adjusted vaccination rates are reflected in the Cambridge COVID-19 Data Center beginning today. For the three vaccination categories that remained consistent, the following changes were noted:

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Category 

Reported Vaccination Rate

as of 7/5/22

Reported Vaccination Rate

as of 7/11/22 using higher population estimates

 At least one dose  94%  89%
 Fully Vaccinated  77%  73%
 Booster Dose  50%  48%

For the newly reported percent of residents who have received a second booster, the state uses the entire Cambridge population to calculate that 9% of residents have received a second booster; however, only those who are 50 and over (and immunocompromised individuals) are eligible for this second booster dose. Of Cambridge residents over 50 years old, 36% have received a second booster. The Cambridge Public Health Department continues to urge people who are over 50 or who have underlying medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to serious illness to get a second booster shot 4 months after their first booster.  A closer look at the vaccine data show that many older residents in Cambridge are heeding this message.  Their second booster percentages are as follows:

 

Age  2nd Booster Rate 
 50 - 64 Years  27%
 65 - 74 Years  43%
 75+ Years  50%

 

Derrick Neal, Cambridge’s Chief Public Health Officer, observed that “Although we clearly want to see higher uptake of second booster doses, I’m pleased that the numbers for our older population are moving in the right direction.  As I’ve said many times, we are still in the midst of a pandemic. I encourage residents to take advantage of the wide availability of free vaccines and boosters to protect themselves.”  


COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for everyone aged 6 months and older. Visit www.vaxfinder.mass.gov to find a vaccine location.


Page was posted on 7/14/2022 4:19 PM
Page was last modified on 7/14/2022 4:21 PM
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