Vaccination rates vary across Kzoo County

A map of Kalamazoo County by census tract breaks down which areas are most vaccinated.

Almost 60% of residents of Kalamazoo County age 18 and up have been at least partially vaccinated against the coronavirus. But the actual rates vary wildly across the county.

Data published Saturday by MLive gives a much more nuanced view of vaccination rates throughout the state – and Kalamazoo County.

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The data is split up by census tract – that is how the U.S. government divides geographic areas for the purposes of counting population numbers.

Population data comes from averages counted between 2014 and 2018. Vaccination data comes from May 22.

Overall, vaccination rates are high in most parts of the county. In most areas, at least 40% of the population has received at least one shot of vaccine. Census Tract 12, which includes parts of Winchell and Westnedge Hill neighborhoods in the City of Kalamazoo have the highest rate of vaccination at 87%

But some areas show remarkably low rates of vaccination. Case in point is Census Tract 15.04 with a vaccination rate of just 6% – the lowest in the county. That area includes Western Michigan University and the rate likely stems from the complicated way college students are counted for the purposes of the census.

Students are usually counted based on where they live during the school year, but the past year’s unusual school year meant many students stayed home and attended classes remotely.

While the data may not be accurate for a detailed picture of the state of vaccinations, it does give a good overview of what areas are doing well vaccination-wise and what areas need more outreach and effort.

You can see the data and read the full story on MLive.

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