Rural Tennessee’s Vaccine Hesitators
White Republican evangelical Christians remain disproportionately mistrustful about coronavirus inoculations. Here’s what that looks like in one community.
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Vaccine hesitancy is a major reason that many experts now fear the United States will struggle to attain herd immunity against the coronavirus.
And while many initially hesitant demographics have become more open to vaccinations, one group is shifting much less: white Republican evangelical Christians, who tend to live in rural communities.
We visited one such community in Greeneville, Tenn.
In Greene County, of which Greeneville is the county seat, around 31 percent of adults are vaccinated, compared with a national rate of 56 percent.
Dr. Daniel Lewis, the community’s family doctor, is trying to change that. Often, one appointment at a time.
On today’s episode
Jan Hoffman, a reporter covering behavioral health and health law for The New York Times.
Reluctance to get vaccinated is widespread in white, Republican communities like this one in Appalachia. But it’s far more complicated than just a partisan divide. Read Jan’s reporting here.
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Jan Hoffman contributed reporting.
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