National Farmers Union Urges Members’ Vaccinations
The National Farmers Union is urging its members to roll up their sleeves for the COVID-19 vaccine as rural areas lag behind in vaccination rates.
Rob Larew, President of the National Farmers Union says rural communities are traditionally underserved due to a scarcity of medical facilities, hospitals, and practitioners.
He says the scarcity of services and dysfunctions in the healthcare system nationwide have been major impediments to launching swift public health information and vaccination campaign in rural areas.
Larew: “So even though the COVID infections may have hit their lowest point since April of 2020 rural parts of the country have lower vaccination rates than elsewhere. According to the latest analysis of vaccination rates by the Daily Yonder, a publication that covers rural issues, vaccination rates in non-metro areas lag behind those of rural counties by about 9%. It’s clear that we have some work to do.”
“Those who want to help can help. Connect our friends and families with good information. We can discuss the topic in a way that will help them feel confident in getting the vaccine and protecting our communities.“
Another significant issue is a misunderstanding among some people about the safety of the new technology that led to the creation of some of the COVID vaccines.
Members of the White House COVID-19 Task Force and the National Rural Health Association joined Larew to make the call to improve rural vaccination rates especially in light of the fast-spreading Delta variant that health officials predict will become the dominant strain in the US.
According to CDC information, 27 of Florida’s most rural counties had not reached a 40% vaccination rate among their adult populations by mid-June.
The Alabama Department of Public Health has put an emphasis on expanding COVID-19 vaccine access across the state where transportation is also an issue.
Tools for community agriculture leaders about the vaccine and services in rural areas are found at: https://www.ruralhealthweb.org.