Although several U.S. health officials have been urging the populace to get vaccinated as soon as possible, many states in the southern part of the country have relatively lower vaccination rates as compared to the national average.
These increasing regional disparities might not allow the U.S. to reach its 4th of July vaccination goal, cited sources with relevant information. The low vaccination rates, especially in the southern parts of the country, can be attributed to inaccessibility to essential vaccine information, shortage of pharmacies & hospitals, and hesitancy towards taking the shot due to various fears.
Less than 50% of the adult population in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana has received at least one dose of the vaccine to date. Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee are also currently behind the national average.
Southern state health officials have also raised concerns regarding the safety of the COVID-19 jab which has resulted in severe hesitancy among the population, cited sources. Moreover, these areas are mostly occupied inhabited by black or brown occupants who are not only not covered by insurance but also do not have equal access to vaccine information.
As a result, while other 16 states have met U.S. President Joe Biden’s goal of vaccinating 70% of the populace by 4th July 2021, the rural areas have shown significantly lower vaccination rates.
This has compelled local health officials and community leaders to take various measures to dispel myths about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine and encourage more people to get vaccinated. This can greatly help in addressing the regional disparity in vaccination rates.
Some state officials have also set up mobile vaccination clinics in areas with poor health infrastructure.
U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris had also visited the southern states to boost vaccination rates ahead of the 4th July goal.