As key providers of local public health services, counties play an essential role in administering COVID-19 vaccine doses. Over the past several months, counties have:
- Leveraged local public health expertise to allocate the vaccine supply
- Worked with state and federal partners to overcome access barriers, and
- Increased vaccine confidence through public messaging and education.
MORE THAN 158 MILLION ADULTS ARE FULLY VACCINATED
Percent of 18+ Population Fully Vaccinated by State of Residence, as of May 26, 2021
Counties are key drivers in meeting critical vaccine milestones. As of May 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than 289 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the United States. Among people aged 18 and older, 61.8 percent received at least a first dose of any vaccine type. In total, 50.3 percent of this group are fully vaccinated. Among those aged 65 and older, 85.5 percent received the first dose, and 74.1 percent are fully vaccinated.
COUNTIES INVEST MORE THAN $163 BILLION IN COMMUNITY HEALTH, HOSPITALS AND HUMAN SERVICES ANNUALLY
County Spending (in Billions of Dollars), by Category, 2017
Counties play a direct role in the health and well-being of residents by running local health departments, providing health care for low-income and uninsured residents and developing community health care programs. Each year, counties invest $62.8 billion to serve as a safety net for millions of residents and to deliver vital services to our nation’s most vulnerable populations. In total, counties invest over $100 billion in community health and hospitals annually, including:
- Over $41 billion for the provision of community and public health services (other than hospital care) such as mental health and substance abuse programs, county health department inspections, water and air quality regulation and health inspections.
- More than $59 billion in operating county-owned hospital facilities, including those operated by public universities and for the provision of inpatient medical care and specialized care.
COUNTIES DIRECTLY ADMINISTER OR SUPPORT PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEMS THROUGH INVOLVEMENT WITH OVER TWO-THIRDS OF LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS
Share of Local Health Departments providing Adult and Child Immunization Services, by level of Urbanization, 2019.
Counties own, operate and support public health systems and infrastructure, such as hospitals, nursing homes and local health departments.
- Counties are involved in protecting public health through over two-thirds of local health departments.
- Local health departments communicate information on vaccine safety and availability and set infection control best practices to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, among other public health measures aimed at responding to the current as well as future public health emergencies.
- Most local health departments provide adult and child immunizations. In 2019, 96 percent of local health departments provided childhood immunizations and 93 percent of local health departments provided adult immunizations.
- Counties employ over 391,000 hospital and health care workers, and support over 900 hospitals that provide providing inpatient medical care and specialized care.
- Counties also own and support 700 long-term care facilities.
OTHER NACo RESOURCES: VACCINE DISTRIBUTION
NACo's County Explorer tool provides county-level data and profiles that offer informative, statistical summaries. You can access the latest data on vaccine administration at the county level. To learn more on the county role in vaccine distribution, see NACo’s Vaccine Resource Hub and NACo’s newest brief on Vaccine Distribution in Rural Counties.
Data Source and Notes
Sources: NACo Analysis of U.S. Census Bureau - Census of Individual Governments: Finance, 2017; The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - CDC COVID Data Tracker and The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) - National Profile of Local Health Departments (Profile) Study, 2019.