Guam’s vaccinated vs. unvaccinated count does not add up with the latest Census of the population. The Governor’s Office, however, is not necessarily ready to concede the discrepancy of arithmetic.
According to Friday night’s Joint Information Center count of the Guam population, 124,073 Guamanians ages 12 and up are vaccinated; 12,220 people ages 12 and up are not vaccinated; and 32,029 Guamanians ages 0 through 11 are presently ineligible for the vaccine. That’s a total of 168,322 residents.
The problem is that, according to the 2020 Census, there only are 153,836 people living on the island. That’s a difference of 14,486 fewer people than the population numbers public health officials have been working with, assuming the Census data is near accurate.
Which numbers are correct?
”Effective today, the Joint Information Center will add an additional footnote stating that figures are based on the 2018 Statistical Yearbook,” governor’s director of communications Krystal Paco-San Agustin told Kandit, when asked whether the governor and her people are recognizing there is a discrepancy. “Once additional U.S. Census data for Guam is released (i.e. by age and ethnicity), more precise data will be provided.”
The final part of her quote actually is verbatim from a letter to the editor authored by territorial epidemiologist Dr. Ann Pobutsky and Dr. Annette David. The two advisors to the governor also recognized the 14,486-person difference between the government figures and the 2020 Census number.
The JIC number of 124,073 is an actual number based on the count of people who have been vaccinated. The other two numbers, however – the 12,220 unvaccinated from age 12 and up, and the 32,029 ineligible ages 0 through 11 – are based on assumptions from the 2018 statistical yearbook count.
According to Guam Department of Education superintendent Jon Fernandez, there were 12,929 public school students in grade levels matching the 5-11 year-old age bracket. Assuming there were 5,000 students of that same age in the private schools, and assuming there was no large variation in births for the five years preceding, there would be around 31,000 Guamanians ages 0 through 11; which is close to the JIC number.
If you add the vaccinated number and the number of Guamanians ages 0 through 11, the sum equals 156,102, or slightly more than the 2020 Census count of Guam’s population.
Asked whether public health officials are considering that nearly all Guamanians ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated, Ms. Paco-San Agustin referred us to the editorial by the two doctors, and the assertion that data will be examined further once details of the Census are available.