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Deep South Falls Behind In Coronavirus Vaccine Drive

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FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2021, file photo, Walgreens pharmacist Chris McLaurin prepares to vaccinate Lakandra McNealy, a Harmony Court Assisted Living employee, with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in Jackson, Miss. The coronavirus vaccines have been rolled out unevenly across the U.S., but some states in the Deep South have had particularly dismal inoculation rates. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

(AP) — The coronavirus vaccines have been rolled out unevenly across the U.S., but some states in the Deep South have had particularly dismal inoculation rates.

Data from the states and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that less than 2% of the population in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina had received its first dose of a vaccine at the start of this week. The best states have managed to inject more than 5% of their populations.

Though it’s not clear why the region is falling behind, public health researchers note that it has typically lagged in funding public health systems and addressing disparities in care for its large rural population.

 

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