Denver Communities With Lowest COVID Vaccination Rates

A bird's eye view of southeast Denver.
A bird's eye view of southeast Denver. YouTube
As of today, August 20, 71.7 percent of Denver residents ages twelve and above are fully vaccinated. But the numbers are much lower for certain neighborhoods, as well as communities of color.

Earlier this month, Mayor Michael Hancock announced a new public-health order requiring that a range of public and private employees in high-risk occupations be vaccinated by September 30 or face possible firing.

The Denver Department of Public Health and Environment cited rising case and hospitalization counts as the inspiration for the order, particularly since people who haven't been immunized remain at much higher risk — and there are still plenty of them in Denver.

According to Denver Public Health's updated COVID-19 data summary page, most city neighborhoods have vaccination rates above 70 percent for eligible residents who've received at least one dose, with several much higher than that. North Park Hill currently sits at 88 percent, for example, and Central Park is calculated at 93 percent. But the Kennedy neighborhood has a rate of less than 50 percent, and other parts of the city fall below that average, too.

Here are the ten Denver neighborhoods with the lowest vaccination rates right now:
Kennedy: 47 percent
Goldsmith: 56 percent
Sun Valley: 56 percent
Auraria: 60 percent
Marston: 63 percent
Bear Valley: 65 percent
West Colfax: 65 percent
College View-South Platte: 66 percent
East Colfax: 66 percent
Valverde: 66 percent
Communities of color are generally being vaccinated at a much lower rate in Denver. The DPH chart indicates that white residents between the ages of twelve and seventeen show a vaccination rate of 96.4 percent, as compared to 33.1 percent for American Indians in the same age group, 35.1 percent for Black individuals, 37.7 percent for Asians and Pacific Islanders and 48.6 percent for Hispanics/Latinos.

The disparities don't stop there. Vaccination percentages are below 50 percent for all Hispanics or Latinos under age fifty, and the rate is at just 60 percent for those older than 65, versus 84.5 percent for whites. Likewise, only 43.3 percent of Black residents between 19 and 29 have been vaccinated, with the 30-49 category at 53 percent.

Over the course of the pandemic, Hancock has talked frequently about lower vaccination rates for people of color, linking them with a number of factors, including historic inequities, transportation issues and more. But thus far, the efforts of his administration to level the playing field haven't succeeded.

Here are the vaccination rates for various demographic groups in Denver as of August 20:

American Indian, non-Hispanic:
12-17 years: 33.1 percent
18-29 years: 98.5 percent
30-49 years: 63.4 percent
50-64 years: 62.8 percent
65-plus years: 54.4 percent

Asian/Pacific Islander:
12-17 years: 37.7 percent
18-29 years: 57.1 percent
30-49 years: 64.9 percent
50-64 years: 65.4 percent
65-plus years: 54.4 percent

Black, non-Hispanic:
12-17 years: 35.1 percent
18-29 years: 43.3 percent
30-49 years: 53.0 percent
50-64 years: 61.7 percent
65-plus years: 74.2 percent

Hispanic or Latino:
12-17 years: 48.6 percent
18-29years: 48.5 percent
30-49 years: 42.7 percent
50-64 years: 50.1 percent
65-plus years: 60.1 percent

White, non-Hispanic:
12-17 years: 96.4 percent
18-29 years: 78.7 percent
30-49 years: 80.8 percent
50-64 years: 72.3 percent
65-plus years: 84.5 percent

12-17 years: 68.5 percent
18-29 years: 78.8 percent
30-49 years: 78.8 percent
50-64 years: 74.4 percent
65-plus years: 85.4 percent
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts