DALLAS – Due to vaccination levels and reduction in new COVID-19 cases in Dallas County, the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation’s COVID-19 Vulnerability Index has recorded a 40 percent drop in average vulnerability from April to the end of May.

The Vulnerability Index decrease can be attributed to a moderate increase in vaccines, a 10 percent increase in vaccinated people (partial or complete) month over month, and a 37 percent decrease in active cases.

The ZIP code with the highest Vulnerability Index, 75243, has a 12.20 vulnerability rating, however that was a decreased by 61 percent from April. This decrease was driven by vaccinations.

Most vulnerable zip codes. The cases have continued to reduce substantially month-over-month. (See list below)

“Thanks to the vaccination programs implemented throughout Dallas County, we continue to see progress in our fight against COVID-19,” said Thomas Roderick, PhD, Executive in Residence at PCCI. “Our latest Vulnerability Index report is the most positive yet, with new cases slowing and modest, but important participation in the vaccination program continuing. This progress is a credit to the outstanding efforts of our public health leaders and residents devoted to crushing COVID.”

One of the hardest hit ZIP Codes during the past year, 75211, which includes the areas around Cockrell Hill and Oak Cliff, continues to be in the top 10 most vulnerable ZIP codes, however, its May rating of 9.63, is a massive improvement over its high of 196.9 in January.

Launched in June of 2020, PCCI’s Vulnerability Index identifies communities at risk by examining comorbidity rates, including chronic illnesses such as hypertension, cancer, diabetes and heart disease; areas with a high density of populations over the age of 65; and increased social deprivation such as lack of access to food, medicine, employment and transportation. These factors are combined with dynamic mobility rates and confirmed COVID-19 cases where a vulnerability index value is scaled relative to July 2020’s COVID-19 peak value. The PCCI COVID-19 Vulnerability Index can be found on its COVID-19 Hub for Dallas County at: https://covid-analytics-pccinnovation.hub.arcgis.com/.

Recently, PCCI revised its COVID-19 herd immunity forecast, 80 percent of residents either having recovered from COVID-19 or having received a vaccination, from mid-June to July, due to a slowing rate of immunizations. However, as of the end of May, Dallas County is closing in on the 80 percent goal, at 75.5 percent herd immunity.

“Without question, vaccinations are the key to Dallas County reaching herd immunity,” said George “Holt” Oliver, MD, Vice President of Clinical Informatics at PCCI. “Vaccinations have been the primary reason we’ve seen a reduction in risk and why we are in sight of reaching the herd immunity threshold. The vaccinations for adults and children over 12 years old, are effective, easily obtained and quickly administered. We should all do our part to get vaccinated and encourage others to do the same. That is the way we will crush COVID.”

Data Sources:
To build Vulnerability Index, PCCI relied on data from Parkland Health & Hospital System, Dallas County Health and Human Services Department, the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council, U.S. Census, and SafeGraph.

About Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation
Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI) is an independent, not-for-profit, healthcare intelligence organization affiliated with Parkland Health & Hospital System. PCCI leverages clinical expertise, data science and social determinants of health to address the needs of vulnerable populations. We believe that data, done right, has the power to galvanize communities, inform leaders, and empower people.