Monitoring the Younger Demographic with the Delta Variant is Crucial

August 26, 2021

There is significant variation across the US in terms of vaccination coverage by state. Some have focused on this variation to explain the differences between states and regions in terms of the variation in the magnitude and severity of the delta waves (the east coast vs. the south). Within states there is tremendous variation by county.

I thought about how one could eliminate this confounding variable and decided to focus on a subset of the population with the very lowest vaccination coverage--kids.  All states and counties have the same percentage of their kids under the age of 12 vaccinated (~0%).  There are 48M kids under the age of 12 in the US (a sizable population). Although there is variation across the country in terms of vaccination coverage of the age group 12-17, vaccination coverage is pretty low across the country relative to all other age groups.

In the table below, I estimated the % of the population age 0-17 fully vaccinated in the US at ~12%.  Because this demographic is pretty much unvaccinated, they are particularly vulnerable to infection with the delta variant (but with mild disease).  So kids are really a sentinel group to watch.  They are the canaries in the coal mine.

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