What is happening in rural hospitals and counties in our state when it comes to viruses and vaccinations? In May 2021, Arizona led the nation in rural COVID 19 vaccinations. We talked about this with Dr. Daniel Derksen, a Director at Arizona Center for Rural Health, about it all.
He said our rural counties with low vaccination rates are being hit hard. They are seeing increased infections and hospitalizations.
He said across the country in rural communities, they are seeing the same thing. They are also seeing the dominance of the delta variant of COVID.
Dr. Derksen said there are lower vaccination rates, like in Mohave county. He gave some examples of other counties. He said the people are more vulnerable in those counties with such low vaccination rates.
The counties are hovering around 40% or less, Dr. Derksen said. He explains that the counties with higher vaccination rates are doing better.
“This virus does not respect walls between countries, no matter how high they are built,” he said. They are working with the Mexican consulate to get vaccines to those communities outside of the United States.
He said they want to make sure the individuals are vaccinated as they deliver produce.
We asked what he wants to see done. He explains that there is a lot of people that have questions about the vaccine. He wants the primary care doctors to answer the questions.
He explains the trends they are seeing across the state. He said the hospitalizations have increased, and the vaccine will help people avoid the hospital.