Determinants of Pediatric ?COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake at the County Level in the US, July and September 2021
When it comes to infectious diseases such as COVID-19, the main line of defense is getting vaccinated. This study focuses on analyzing what factors affect pediatric vaccine uptake (PVU) at the county level in the US. Our first step was to compile a list of attributes based on domain knowledge in epidemiology. We then collected variable and vaccine data from 2 points in time. We chose to observe data from July 10th, 2021 (one month after emergency use authorization was granted for kids under 18) and September 30th, 202 (approximately one month after school started). Following this, we removed some of the attributes due to data incompleteness, while imputing other attributes that had minor data loss. We tested for positive spatial autocorrelation and used an imputation technique that fills in missing values using the average nearest values. We then used the Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression to measure the association between each attribute and pediatric vaccine uptake. After removing variables that had high collinearity, our final explanatory variables included: the number of social memberships per 100k, percent of people 25+ with no high school diploma, percent Black population, percent Asian population, percent Latino population, percent female population, percent Fox viewership, number of pharmacies, percent democratic population, and percent of children eligible for free lunch. Out of these variables, the strongest explanatory variable for PVU was political views; the percent Democrats increased by 1% in a county, PVU increased by 0.68% in July, and 0.87% in September. Now that we have this information, it is important to show policymakers what communities they need to advocate vaccines.
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