Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Rural folks and conservatives less likely to get coronavirus vaccinations, analysis by congressional districts shows

Percentage of vaccinated population (left) compared to 2020 presidential election margins by Congressional district (Harvard University and Daily Kos maps adapted by The Rural Blog; click the image to enlarge them. The Harvard analysis, linked below, has an interactive version.)

Conservative—and disproportionately rural—Americans are more likely to remain unvaccinated against the coronavirus, and the divide is growing starker. 

"All but one of the 39 congressional districts where at least 60 percent of residents have received a coronavirus shot are represented by Democrats, according to a Harvard University analysis that presents one of the most detailed looks yet at the partisan split behind the nation’s diverging vaccination drive," Dan Goldberg and Alice Ollstein report for Politico. "By contrast, Republicans represent all but two of the 30 districts where fewer than one-third of residents have received a shot."

The 14 least least-vaccinated districts are all Republican and rural (or have a rural population of at least 40%). Missouri, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates of any state, took the bottom four spots.

The gap stems partly from ideological sentiment, but also access issues. "House members representing districts with low vaccination rates and public health experts, discussing their efforts to reach the unvaccinated, described what essentially has become two distinct conversations," Goldberg and Ollstein report. "One is aimed at chipping away at vaccine hesitancy among conservative white Republicans, while the other is centered around reducing socioeconomic barriers to vaccination for poorer populations and communities of color."
Rural/urban vaccination rates as of May 23, compared to national average. Rates are adjusted to account for vaccinations not assigned to specific counties. Map by The Daily Yonder; click the image to enlarge it or click here for the interactive version.

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