Vaccine Equity is ensuring vaccination access and uptake for those groups that experience disparities in immunization – including racial and ethnic minority groups, individuals living with disabilities, rural communities, older adults, individuals with chronic conditions, and more.
Achieving vaccine equity requires addressing inequalities and roadblocks that limit vaccine access and uptake.
Equity has been the cornerstone of Louisiana’s COVID-19 vaccine strategy. From the first weeks of COVID-19 vaccine roll out, to continued targeted health equity activities today, Louisiana has strived to reduce health disparities and has become a national leader on this front.
The Vaccine Equity Initiative promotes fair and just vaccination awareness, acceptance, and access for those groups that experience disparities in immunization and in health outcomes.
We work toward achieving our vision that all people in Louisiana are valued equally and have the opportunity to be as healthy as possible. We envision a state in which disparities in vaccination access and adoption by race, national or ethnic origin, gender identity or expression, age, ability, location, socioeconomic status, education, political affiliation, religion, sexual orientation and housing status have been eliminated.
What We’ve Accomplished
Louisiana: Highly rated for Vaccine Equity
Louisiana’s U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Equity score, which accounts for both the availability and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines in high Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) communities, is 939 (out of 1000).
- For comparison, the overall national score is 542, and
- The average score for our region that also includes Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arkansas is 9.
What is Social Vulnerability?
The social vulnerability index (SVI) refers to the potential negative effects on communities caused by external stresses on human health. Such stresses include natural or human-caused disasters, or disease outbreaks. Recognizing that communities with a high SVI rating were more at risk during the pandemic, LDH directed resources to these communities to help residents get vaccinated. SVI uses U.S. Census data to determine the social vulnerability of communities at the census tract level.
- Click here for the Social Vulnerability Index map for the U.S.
To discover the SVI rates in Louisiana, go to here and follow the 5-step process as shown here:
- Step 1, Content:
- Content Area: Populations and Vulnerabilities
- Indicator: Social Vulnerability Index
- Measure: Overall Percentile Vulnerability Index
- Step 2, Geography Type: Select “State by Census Tract”
- Step 3, Geography: Check the box for “Louisiana”
- Step 4, Time: Check the box for “2018” (that is the most recent dataset from CDC/ATSDR that publishes the SVI)
- Click “Go”
New Strategies to Address Vaccine Equity
The Louisiana Office of Public Health Immunization Program, along with our partners, have implemented a number of new strategies and activities that have contributed to these metrics (and other equity milestones).
- Provider Outreach
- Vaccine Redistribution
- Mobile Vaccination Teams
- Neighborhood/Door-to-Door Canvassing
- Incentive Programs
- Vaccine Ambassadors
Louisiana’s Vaccination Rates
For the most up-to-date summary of Louisiana’s vaccination rates by race, see the “Comparison of Percentage of COVID-19 Cases, Deaths, Vaccinations, and Populations by Race by Parish” on our Summary Dashboard here.