Instances of hospitalization and deaths are higher among the residents of the rural areas.
Yet up until April, the rate of vaccination in the rural areas was much lower than that of the cities.
Covid-19 Vaccination Lagging In Rural Areas
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the slow immunization rate of the rural areas can delay the elimination of the virus.
Vaccination coverage to date.
As stated by Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC in the latest data, 60% of the population above the age of 18 years have received at least one shot of the vaccine.
Giving out the details on Monday, she termed it as a landmark day.
However scientists believe to achieve herd immunity, that is necessary to eliminate the coronavirus, at least 75-80% of the population has to be immunized.
In this regard, the rural areas are much behind than the cities.
The reality in the rural USA.
Although in September last year, the instances of covid positive cases and related deaths were higher in the rural areas compared to urban counties, the immunization coverage there was only 39% as of April 10th, 2021.
Whereas in the urban areas, 46% of the population had received the vaccination, as stated in the Morbidity and Mortality report of the CDC on Tuesday.
80% of the rural population of America resides in areas that are deemed as medically underserved.
Hence, ramping up the vaccination drive in these regions is a challenge for healthcare professionals.
Other difficulties include lack of accessibility to doctors and trouble getting timely appointments.
Hesitancy among the rural population is a barrier.
The Kaiser Family Foundation undertook a survey in April.
In the study, it was observed that there is hesitancy regarding the vaccine among the rural population.
3 out of every 10 people said they will never opt for the vaccine doses or they will get the shots if it becomes a requisite for something important.
This fraction of the hesitant population in the rural areas is higher compared to urban settlements.
However, people living in rural counties are much more susceptible to the virus than the urban population.
They also have persistent medical issues and lower coverage on the insurance schemes.
Ways to counter the issue.
An estimated 60 million people are settled in rural counties, which accounts for one-fifth of the total American population.
The lagging behind of vaccination among this populace has an adverse effect on the effort of the states to control the virus.
Recommendations have been issued by the CDC to eliminate the disparity in the vaccination rates of the urban and rural areas.
According to the guidelines, public healthcare leaders should associate with local doctors in rural areas to remove the hesitancy, made the vaccines accessible, and encourage the people to opt for immunization.
As stated by Walensky, the CDC is determined to consider and address the issues of both urban and rural areas of the United States.
She further implies that the CDC is committed to eliminating the gap in vaccination coverage for urban and rural counties.
Emphasis is given to reaching out to people at their level. To illustrate it, Walensky draws a certain example.
It was the vaccination and testing initiative carried out at the Talladega Superspeedway by the Federal Government in association with the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama National Guard.
Experts like Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, the senior advisor of the covid-19 response team of the White House, believe that the initiative to reach out to people at their location with the vaccines has proven beneficial.
Nunez-Smith furthermore stated that priority will be given to all pin codes and efforts will be made to reach everyone at this stage of vaccination.