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Article

COVID-19 Medical Vulnerability Indicators: A Predictive, Local Data Model for Equity in Public Health Decision Making

1
Department of Urban Planning, UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, UCLA Luskin School of Public Policy, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
2
Departments of Psychology and Health Policy & Management, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Luenda E. Charles
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4829; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094829
Received: 13 January 2021 / Revised: 25 April 2021 / Accepted: 27 April 2021 / Published: 30 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
This article reports the outcome of a project to develop and assess a predictive model of vulnerability indicators for COVID-19 infection in Los Angeles County. Multiple data sources were used to construct four indicators for zip code tabulation areas: (1) pre-existing health condition, (2) barriers to accessing health care, (3) built environment risk, and (4) the CDC’s social vulnerability. The assessment of the indicators finds that the most vulnerable neighborhoods are characterized by significant clustering of racial minorities. An overwhelming 73% of Blacks reside in the neighborhoods with the two highest levels of pre-existing health conditions. For the barriers to accessing health care indicator, 40% of Latinx reside in the highest vulnerability places. The built environment indicator finds that selected Asian ethnic groups (63%), Latinx (55%), and Blacks (53%) reside in the neighborhoods designated as high or the highest vulnerability. The social vulnerability indicator finds 42% of Blacks and Latinx and 38% of selected Asian ethnic group residing in neighborhoods of high vulnerability. The vulnerability indicators can be adopted nationally to respond to COVID-19. The metrics can be utilized in data-driven decision making of re-openings or resource distribution such as testing, vaccine distribution and other pandemic-related resources to ensure equity for the most vulnerable. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; health disparities; social vulnerability index; Black; Latinx; Cambodian; hmong; Laotians; Asians; built environment COVID-19; health disparities; social vulnerability index; Black; Latinx; Cambodian; hmong; Laotians; Asians; built environment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ong, P.M.; Pech, C.; Gutierrez, N.R.; Mays, V.M. COVID-19 Medical Vulnerability Indicators: A Predictive, Local Data Model for Equity in Public Health Decision Making. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 4829. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094829

AMA Style

Ong PM, Pech C, Gutierrez NR, Mays VM. COVID-19 Medical Vulnerability Indicators: A Predictive, Local Data Model for Equity in Public Health Decision Making. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(9):4829. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094829

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ong, Paul M., Chhandara Pech, Nataly Rios Gutierrez, and Vickie M. Mays. 2021. "COVID-19 Medical Vulnerability Indicators: A Predictive, Local Data Model for Equity in Public Health Decision Making" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 9: 4829. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094829

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