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Rural California is lagging behind in vaccination

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Some rural counties in Northern California are lagging further behind in COVID-19 vaccination rates than the rest of the state, with cases remaining flat or increasing in some cases.

An analysis by the Times found that counties with the lowest vaccination rates were more likely to have higher rates of recent cases per capita. Counties in rural Northern California and the greater Sacramento area fared worst, while Southern California and the Bay Area performed best in terms of high vaccination rates and low daily cases, the analysis found.

Health officials in some rural areas with low rates of vaccination said they are battling a reluctance on the part of residents to get the shot, which leaves a larger percentage of the population exposed to the coronavirus than more urban parts of California. gives where matters continue to fall.

“COVID is still here and still very prevalent in our community,” said Kerry Schuett, Public Information Officer for the Health and Human Services Agency Shasta County, where only 36% of residents have received at least one dose. “And it’s especially concerning in a county that doesn’t have a very high vaccination rate, so there are a lot of people who are still vulnerable.”

In Vaccine coverage gapAlthough not new, there is concern that some areas of the state remain at risk of potential outbreaks, complicating California. emerge from the pandemic Which has affected life for more than a year.

statewide, 54% residents people of all ages who have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to statistics Compiled by Times.

In San Diegohandjob San Franciscohandjob Santa Clarahandjob saint matthew and marin In counties, more than 67% of residents are at least partially vaccinated. But in much of the state’s rural north, less than 45% of residents have them up their sleeves.

Officials say the coronavirus rebound is most likely in areas where fewer people are vaccinated.

“We are seeing high case rates in our northern rural counties, where vaccination rates are low,” tweeted State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan.

Among the counties of concern in the rural northern part of the state Tehama and SiskiyouMILF only two in California Identified as “high” virus transmission rates by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

only 27% Tehama County Residents have received a vaccine shot, and the county has the worst of California in the past seven days, reporting about 20 new cases per 100,000 residents per day, according to data compiled by The Times. This is up from 8 new cases per 100,000 residents a month ago.

In college Lassen County have a lower level of vaccination than Tehama, at about 22%. For the seven-day period ending Sunday, there were 7 daily cases per 100,000 residents. Lassen County, up from about 3 months ago.

In Humboldt County, where 50% of residents have been at least partially vaccinated, at the beginning of April the daily case rate was only 2 per 100,000 residents. It rose to 18 in mid-May before falling to about 9 for a seven-day period ending Sunday.

Shasta – One of just four counties across the state is still at the second most restrictive level State’s reopening framework, the red tier – has been unable to adequately reduce its daily case rate for months. A month earlier, it had an average daily case rate of 8 per 100,000 residents; It peaked at 14 in early May before falling to 7.5 for a seven-day period ending Sunday.

By comparison, per 100,000 residents, Orange County registering 0.9 new cases in a day; Santa Clara County, 1.1; ventura, 1.4; San Francisco, 1.6; and San Diego, 2.3. other then recently arrears Of the nearly 3,900 chronic coronavirus cases, LA County Recording 1.9 new daily cases per 100,000 residents over the past week.

Health officials are worried about the lack of interest in vaccination in the northern rural areas of the state.

“We recently saw a real death in interest in vaccines. And I have reported that before – that hasn’t changed,” Dr. Warren Rehwalt, the Del Norte County Health official said in a public meeting recently. Just 35% of residents have had at least one shot in Del Norte County, which is home to Crescent City and sits on the Oregon border.

Most vaccines are hesitating because of distrust of health officials, politicians and scientists. Misinformation about the cost, efficacy and side effects of vaccines has spread on social media, leaving health officials with the twin task of making vaccines as easy as possible to obtain and debunking conspiracy theories that Can stop people from taking their turn.

Shasta CountyRedding, home of Redding and one of the most populous counties in the north of the state, has been particularly polarized over the government’s response to COVID-19. is an attempt in process To recall three members of the Shasta County Board of Supervisors who supported Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pandemic health orders.

Schuett said Tuesday that he doesn’t think Shasta County is “significantly different than many other rural, conservative areas. We have more people here who are hesitant to get the vaccine.”

“We’ve worked really hard over the past 16 months to build our reputation as a reliable source of information,” Schuett said. “We’ve answered thousands of questions on Facebook and via email, and at media briefings and town hall meetings. We’re really trying to provide that accurate, science-based information that people can mention, that They can watch as they want to decide whether today is the day they are ready for.”

In fact, dissemination of accurate information is important, says UC San Francisco epidemiologist Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo said, noting that some people suspect she will be charged for the shots, which are free.

Survey Republicans and rural residents are among the least enthusiastic groups in the US when it comes to vaccination, as shown by the Kaiser Family Foundation. About 26% of rural American residents and 28% of Republicans say they definitely won’t get the vaccine or will get it only when needed; By comparison, 15% of urban residents, 19% of suburban residents, 20% of independent voters and 7% of Democrats say the same.

Without increasing vaccination rates, “the concern is that you will have this smoldering endemic disease in the population,” said Brad Pollock, an epidemiologist at UC Davis. “The longer it hangs around, the more likely you are to show these heterozygous mutant strains.”

Uninfected people now have to deal with a more infectious form, B.1.1.1.7 – than in earlier waves of epidemics new name alpha version by the World Health Organization – which has become the major strain in California.

“That means the more infectious the bug is, the more efficient it is at infecting people,” Pollock said. “People who … are not vaccinated are more likely to be infected and more likely to spread.”

It’s not just vaccine hesitancy that plays a role in low vaccination rates – lack of access is also a factor. Bibbins-Domingo said strategies that may be relatively successful in urban areas and suburbs — such as mass immunization sites and administering shots at major pharmacy chains — may not work in rural areas, where smaller clinics and local pharmacists Vaccines may have to be put in the hands of more effective.

“Access has always been – and continues to be – the biggest barrier to our vaccination rates, contrary to one’s underlying belief that they do not want to be vaccinated,” Bibbins-Domingo said. “When cases are rising, and we take strategies that reduce access barriers, and we put vaccines in the hands of the kinds of physicians and community groups that a community really trusts, people get vaccinated. We see it again and again. And that’s what we have to double now.”

To be sure, not all counties with low vaccination rates have relatively high rates of infection. Trinity County, which has a population of just 13,000, has one of the state’s lowest daily coronavirus cases, despite 35% of its residents being at least partially vaccinated. Del Norte County Despite the low vaccination rate, there was an average of one new coronavirus case a day in the past week.

Still, as summer begins, it can be problematic if outbreaks in one area of ​​the state find their way into travel groups, such as farm workers, some of whom remain unaffiliated.

“As we enter the intense agricultural season and people live in dense habitat, near farms or in these small towns, it’s always a risk for transmission,” said UC San Francisco epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford. “Farmers who come and go, and they work the crop up and down the state … are the people who can really do well from getting the J&J vaccine — a single-dose vaccine.”

Lynn reported from San Francisco and Money & Green from Southern California.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of knews.uk and knews.uk does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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