Oct. 5, 2021 (MedicalXpress) -- A combination of higher Trump vote share and lower educational attainment help explain the lower COVID-19 vaccination rates in rural areas of the United States, according to a new study published in the Journal of Rural Health.
The researchers conclude that as the pandemic enters its second winter and vaccination rates vary widely across the United States, mandates may be the most effective strategy for increasing vaccination rates and saving lives in rural areas.
"Very few people who haven't gotten vaccinated are going to change their minds at this point; they've dug in their heals, and misinformation is rampant," said researcher Shannon Monnat, an associate professor of sociology at Syracuse University and director of the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion. "The most effective way to prevent continued spread, reduce hospitalizations and save lives is to mandate vaccines."
According to public health officials, achieving high vaccination coverage is the best way to prevent coronavirus spread, promote economic recovery and save lives. But as of September 2021, only 66.6 percent of U.S. adults had been fully vaccinated, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.