As much of the country emerges from masking and social distancing, undervaccinated pockets in the U.S. still threaten to bring the virus roaring back.
Less than 25% of the population is fully vaccinated in at least 482 counties, according to an analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data by Bloomberg News. Many of these counties are more rural and less economically advantaged than the rest of the U.S., and a majority of their voters in the last presidential election chose Donald Trump, according to the analysis of 2,700 U.S. counties.
“If certain groups are less likely to vaccinate, it makes it more likely that Covid-19 will continue to be a high risk in certain communities,” [rural health researcher Timothy] Callaghan said. “And if Covid continues to spread in certain areas and then people go to visit those areas, they become at risk.”
To address this hesitancy, the most important task may be to dig deeper into the myriad reasons people are opting out of vaccination.
“The first thing is to recognize that a sort of one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to work,” Callaghan said.