A new analysis by researchers from the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative estimates that nearly half of all patients served by community health centers qualify for phase one COVID-19 immunizations, following health care workers, residents of long-term care facilities and other essential workers, under priority guidelines established by the CDC. Among the 29.8 million people served by CHCs in 2019, an estimated 14.1 million adult health center patients – who account for 47 percent of all patients served – could be expected to qualify for phase one priority vaccination due to their advanced age or underlying health conditions. These 14.1 million patients will require 28.2 million vaccine doses in order to protect them from COVID-19, according to the analysis. As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes more widely available and others become eligible, the entire community health center population, an estimated 29.8 million patients, would need nearly 60 million vaccine doses in order to protect them from COVID-19. Community health centers play an important role serving high-need rural and urban communities and populations at elevated risk making them essential to a successful vaccine strategy, and funding support for health centers ever more crucial.
The data note was produced by the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative.
Download the data note