Neighborhood-level factors associated with COVID-19 vaccination rates: a case study in Chicago

Grace Keegan, Mengqi Zhu, Maria Paz, Hyojung Kang, Ajanta Patel, Arshiya A. Baig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Chicago’s deeply-rooted racial and socioeconomic residential segregation is a pattern mirrored in other major cities, making it a prototype for studying the uptake of public health interventions across the US. Residential segregation is related to availability of primary care, sense of community, and trust in the healthcare system, components which are essential in the response to crises like Covid-19 in which vaccine rollout was primarily community-based. We aimed to evaluate the association between rates of access to primary care and community-belonging with Covid-19 vaccination within Chicago’s neighborhoods. Methods: Data from Chicago Department of Public Health (12/2020-6/2022) on Covid-19 vaccination rates, race/ethnicity (% Black and % Hispanic/Latinx residents), age (% >65), gender (% female), socioeconomic status (% below the federal poverty line), access to needed care rate, and rate of self-reported sense of community-belonging on the neighborhood level were analyzed. Linear mixed models (LMMs) were used to study the impact of variables on vaccination; each neighborhood was added as a random effect to account for with-community association. Results: The average Covid-19 vaccination rates across Chicago’s neighborhoods was 79%, ranging from 37 to 100%, with median 81%. We found that Covid-19 vaccination rates were positively correlated with access to needed care (p < 0.001) and community-belonging (p < 0.001). Community areas that had lower vaccination rates had greater percentage of Black residents (p < 0.0001) and greater poverty rates (p < 0.0001). After adjusting for poverty, race, gender and age in the models, the association between vaccination rates and access to care or community-belonging were no longer significant, but % Black residents and poverty remained significant. Conclusions: Though access to needed primary care and community-belonging are correlated with vaccination rates, this association was not significant when controlling for demographic factors. The association between poverty, race and vaccination status remained significant, indicating that socioeconomic and racial disparities across Chicago drive Covid-19 vaccine recommendation adherence regardless of care access. Understanding how poverty, and its intersectional relation to race and primary care access, affects vaccination should be a priority for public health efforts broadly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number889
JournalBMC public health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 25 2024


  • COVID-19
  • Health disparities
  • Primary care
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccine hesitancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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