Articles | Volume 4
06 Jun 2023
 | 06 Jun 2023

Cycling to get my vaccination: how accessible are COVID-19 vaccination centers in the Netherlands?

Adel Al-Huraibi, Sherif Amer, and Justine I. Blanford

Keywords: geohealth, accessibility, open-data, spatial data science, service area, health centers, bicycles

Abstract. Ensuring populations can easily access testing and vaccination centers is important during a pandemic to minimize future infection risks. Many factors can affect accessibility to such vital health services. Of these, physical accessibility and the ease in which people can get to a center are important. In this study, we examined accessibility to COVID-19 vaccination centers in the Netherlands using a common mode of transportation, the bicycle. Our study utilized data available in the public domain. Accessibility was determined using cumulative opportunities measure to identify variations in accessibility by bicycle at the height of the vaccination campaign (N=193 vaccination centers) and as centers were closed (N=99). Initially, 45% of the population had access to a vaccination facility by bicycle. However, after some centers closed, this number fell to 28%. The elderly (> 65 years) were the most affected age group. Our study shows how open data and a GIS-based approach can provide accurate and timely information to the general public and public health officials and aid in critically assessing infrastructure needs.