COVID-19 vaccinations lagging in rural areas, CDC data shows

COVID-19 vaccination rates were 6.8 percentage points lower in rural U.S. counties than in urban counties as of early April, according to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published May 18.

CDC researchers analyzed county-level vaccine administration data for more than 113 million U.S. adults who received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose between Dec. 14, 2020, and April 10. The report excludes data from Hawaii, which has data-sharing restrictions on county-level information.

Nationwide, 45.7 percent of adults in urban counties had been vaccinated, compared to 38.9 percent in rural counties as of April 10.

Thirty-six states had higher COVID-19 vaccination rates in urban counties; five had higher coverage in rural counties; and another five states had similar coverage for both county types. Four remaining jurisdictions included in the analysis did not have any rural counties. 

"Disparities in COVID-19 vaccination access and coverage between urban and rural communities can hinder progress toward ending the pandemic," the CDC wrote. "Public health practitioners should collaborate with healthcare providers, pharmacies, employers, faith leaders and other community partners to identify and address barriers to COVID-19 vaccination in rural areas."

To view the full report, click here.

 

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