There was a recent morbidity and mortality report publication that discussed vaccination disparities between urban and rural counties. It is known that within the U.S., rural counties have reported higher COVID-19 incidence and mortality rates compared to urban communities. This report found that as the pandemic has continued, the gap between vaccination coverage in rural versus urban areas has increased by nearly 17%.
Factors that may have contributed to this growing health disparity include differences in: access to healthcare, differing views on the seriousness of COVID-19 infection and the importance of preventative behaviors, and general vaccine hesitancy in rural and urban areas.
The report suggests collaboration between public health professionals and other sectors of health providers (e.g., physicians, community health workers, etc.) and access points (e.g., pharmacies, schools, faith-based and community-based organizations, etc.).
Where can rural residents get vaccinated?
In addition to availability in local pharmacies, some health clinics, and physician offices, mobile health initiatives are assisting in providing access to COVID-19 vaccines for rural areas in Arizona. One example of this is the “One Community Initiative Against COVID-19”. This organization hosts events for vaccinations and testing at local schools and parks outside of Phoenix. For more information about upcoming events in your area, direct patients to visit their website.