JEFFERSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WDVM) — A new national study shows a wide disparity in vaccination rates across the United States.
Interestingly, it finds that those in so-called blue states have a much higher vaccination rate than those in so-called red states. A possible conclusion? The government in these blue states may be more proactive about making vaccines available. Also, many in red states are distrusting of the vaccines.
A health officer for the eastern panhandle of West Virginia doesn’t disagree that political beliefs and social media influences are at play here, but he also points to the impact of COVID in different regions of the U.S.
Dr. Kevin McLaughlin, health officer for the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, said, “Many in the northeast, New York, New Jersey, live a much different COVID experience than people in rural West Virginia or rural western Maryland.”
While West Virginia is among the states with a low vaccine participation rate — despite initially being among the highest in the U.S. — Berkley County in the eastern panhandle has one of the highest positive COVID rates in the entire country.