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Widening gap between rural and urban COVID-19 vaccination rates: Shot

Poverty and disability are associated with lower immunization rates in some rural areas. The Van, sponsored by the Vaccine Transport Initiative, will help rural residents receive the COVID-19 vaccine in rural Mississippi. This effort works to overcome the lack of access to transportation and technology for rural residents.

Lory Doyle / Bloomberg via Getty Images


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Lory Doyle / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Poverty and disability are associated with lower immunization rates in some rural areas. The Van, sponsored by the Vaccine Transport Initiative, will help rural residents receive the COVID-19 vaccine in rural Mississippi. This effort works to overcome the lack of access to transportation and technology for rural residents.

Lory Doyle / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rural communities outside the U.S. city lag further behind the competition for vaccination against COVID-19 as President Joe Biden’s July 4 goal of reaching 70% of U.S. adults is approaching the horizon. I’m taking it.

Alaska is the only state where the average rural rate of fully vaccinated people has grown faster than the urban rate since April 19. All states opened shots to everyone 16+, according to the latest analysis of NPR of county-level vaccination data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Everywhere else, the rates for urban counties exceed those for rural counties.

More than a dozen states Local fares actually exceeded city fares seven weeks ago Having flipped, they are now chasing the city’s counterparts. They include Oregon, where rural locations are currently chasing the city by 9 percentage points, and Maine, which is currently 7 points behind.

Florida, Massachusetts and Nebraska have the largest disparities, with rural counties lagging 14 percentage points. For Florida and Nebraska, these gaps are about double that of mid-April.

These gaps may hide a more complex story of vaccination rates, as data reveals that far above average rural counties and urban areas are at a standstill.

Mark Holmes, a professor at the University of North Carolina Gillings Global Public Health School, said: “Overall there is continuity, all large areas are working well, and not all rural areas are as simple as they are.”

surely, CDC report Since mid-May, it has included one detail that surprised Holmes. The suburban counties surrounding Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina, the state’s largest cities, have significantly lower vaccination rates than the city center.

Not only that, these suburbs were worse than the rural counties scattered throughout the state. According to a CDC analysis, all counties surrounding Minneapolis in Birmingham, Alabama, Seattle in Denver, and Portland, Oregon repeated this pattern, with suburbs tracking both urban and rural counties in the state. ..

According to experts, low vaccination pockets are a problem for everyone. According to Keith Mueller, director of the University of Iowa’s Institute for Rural Policy, a surge in COVID-19 in unvaccinated rural and suburban areas is likely to spread to nearby cities. That is.

“If we had learned anything from this pandemic of 18 months, we learned that it could spread from anywhere, anywhere. We are too mobile in society,” says Mueller.

As COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed and the summer travel season heats up, more Americans may set foot in national parks and other rural outdoor destinations.

“You’re stopping getting gas, and suddenly it’s your contact,” Holmes says. “Whether the border is a country, state or county, it’s not effective to look at the border and say it’s there. I’m not here.”

Socio-economically vulnerable counties struggling more

Ah Second CDC report Beginning in early June, the demographic and social factors associated with lower vaccination coverage in all counties, whether rural or urban, will be highlighted.

CDC Social vulnerability index It measures 15 factors that weaken a community’s ability to respond to disasters, such as poverty, poor transportation, and housing congestion.

Researchers categorized the counties into four categories: large cities, suburbs, small cities, and rural areas, and investigated which demographic profile was associated with lower vaccination coverage. In all these categories, vaccination rates tended to be lower in households with children, people with disabilities, and single-parent households. And researchers say these gaps are especially noticeable in suburban and rural counties.

According to the CDC, counties with high numbers of mobile home residents and counties with high poverty and low education rates are also far behind other counties in the rural and urban categories.

“In rural areas, the proportion of residents aged 65 and over is high, they do not have health insurance, they live with underlying illnesses and disabilities, and access to medical facilities with intensive care is restricted. You’re more likely to get sick, or you’ll die from COVID-19, “said Vaughn Barry, a CDC epidemiologist and one of the lead authors of the report.

Hesitation in battle should be “hyperlocal”

Vaccine hesitation is shown as the main cause in the CDC report Barriers to reach rural areas And call on public health leaders to do more to overcome it. One in five rural Americans says they “never get” the vaccine. Kaiser Family Foundation Poll Published in April. Most resistance was seen among Republicans, white evangelical Christians, non-health key workers, and adults under the age of fifty.

Marcella Nunes-Smith, White House COVID-19 Health Equity Chair, states that strategies to overcome this hesitation look different in hundreds of local counties across the country, but one important aspect can be shared. There is sex.

“Partnership with a trusted local community leader is a must,” Nunez Smith said at a press conference in May. “Equity work is always hyper-local. The community is an expert on what they need.”

Doctors at Navajo Nation, one of the most devastated areas in the country, have been in New Mexico by constantly communicating with tribal members about the fight against the “monsters” in COVID-19. Said it helped to achieve the highest immunization rates in. Arizona.

Like most Native American tribes, Navajo Nation has dozens of paid community health professionals working with Indian Health Services to reach out and build relationships in rural areas.

“They know their area very well. They all speak that language,” says Dr. Loretta Kristensen, Chief Medical Officer of Indian Health Services and a member of Navajo Nation. “They can take it one-on-one with people who may be hesitant, and sometimes it’s because they’re afraid to leave the house, but we go home and prevent them. I was vaccinated. “”

Dr. Crispercy of the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, New Mexico, adds that it could be one of the most influential people in persuading friends and family to hesitate.

Patients often tell him why they persuaded them to attend a recent vaccination event. “They will voluntarily offer,’My mother and sister, in my case, to get in here …’,” says Percy.

Christensen and Percy say they can’t bother with not wanting patients to be vaccinated with data and powerful weapons, but what they can do is welcome and lower all barriers.

“The system we set up in Navajo doesn’t have a pre-registration component, or we have to do these five things before we can get a reservation,” says Percy. “If you’re going to come on Tuesday, just show up …. When you’re determined and ready, we’ll be here.”

Barry’s report reflects Percy and proposes a walk-in clinic with flexible evening and weekend hours to accommodate work schedules and reach people in socially vulnerable communities. .. CDC researchers also suggest that organizing vaccine clinics near childcare facilities and partnering with schools may improve the low rates observed in single-parent families in suburban and rural counties. doing.

Widening gap between rural and urban COVID-19 vaccination rates: Shot

Source link Widening gap between rural and urban COVID-19 vaccination rates: Shot

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