Background Obstetricians and gynecologists, who serve a vital role in providing women’s healthcare in the United States, are at risk of COVID-19 exposure via asymptomatic patients and deliveries. This study analyzes state-level geographical distribution of COVID-19 cases and age distribution of Obstetricians and gynecologists (OB/GYNs) to project which US regions will experience a more significant COVID-19 patient burden and provides a guide for vaccine distribution in the OB/GYN workforce. Methods The Association of American Medical Colleges’ state-level workforce data is combined with COVID-19 case data reported by Johns Hopkins University. All data and code are available at https://github.com/cxr244/covid-obgyn. Results Our findings illustrate that OB/GYNs in the Midwestern region of the US experience the highest number of COVID-19 patients per OB/GYN over 60 years of age: North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Idaho have the highest burden of COVID-19 patients per OB/GYN, warranting vaccine distribution priority. Additionally, states with the highest proportion of OB/GYNs over the age of 60 like Florida (38%), New Mexico (37%), Alabama (36%), California (36%), and New Jersey (34%), should be strongly considered for priority vaccine allocation, to mitigate predicted OB/GYN workforce shortages. Conclusion When planning and executing vaccine allocation, especially in the early stages of distribution, it is critical to evaluate which communities can benefit the greatest from the limited number of vaccines. A strategy of distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to older physicians with a more significant COVID-19 burden can minimize shortages of providers within these states and ensure adequate access to women’s healthcare within the communities they serve.Copyright © 2021, Shastri et al.
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