BOSTON (SHNS) – Massachusetts towns where a greater share of residents attained at least a college degree have higher rates of COVID-19 vaccination, while communities, where former President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign fared better in 2020, tend to have lower vaccination rates, according to a new Boston Indicators report.
Both of those patterns in the Bay State mirror national trends, authors at the Boston Foundation’s research center wrote, with COVID-19 vaccines becoming politically polarized and gaps by education existing across racial and partisan lines. The group’s latest dive into statewide vaccination trends found that after hitting a plateau in mid-July, the pace of immunization has crept up in Massachusetts in recent weeks amid an increase in confirmed cases and the spread of the Delta variant.
Massachusetts still has a sizable disparity in vaccination by race with the rate among Black and Latinx residents lagging white and Asian residents. However, the report found that the gap between Latinx and white vaccination rates has narrowed from a peak of 22 percentage points in early May to 13 percentage points in early August.
“The state’s shift in focus from mass vaccination sites to smaller, community-based settings has made the vaccine more accessible to residents, particularly lower-income residents who may have had a hard time traveling to vaccination sites,” authors wrote. “Many residents of color have also been wary of the health-care system that has historically harmed or neglected patients of color. Ongoing work by local and national organizations has helped to build trust, communicate the benefits of the vaccine, and help individuals get vaccinated.”