screenshot shows a chart displaying responses to the question

Rural residents are more hesitant than their metropolitan counterparts to get a COVID-19 vaccination, even though rural areas have higher rates of infections and deaths from the coronavirus, according to a new report.

About a third (35%) of people living in rural areas said they probably would not or definitely would not get a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to about a quarter of suburban (27%) and urban residents (26%) who said the same.

The increased reluctance of rural residents to get vaccinated for COVID-19 was evident even when researchers controlled for other factors such as age, education, and party affiliation.

The poll, part of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s vaccine monitor project, was conducted November 30 to December 8, the week before the first doses of COVID-19 were administered in the U.S.

The poll asked approximately 1,700 respondents whether they would get a vaccine if it was free, safe, and effective.

shows survey results indicating three in ten rural residents are the most vaccine enthusiastic, while four in ten plan to wait and see

Party affiliation was the biggest indicator of whether a person said they would refuse vaccination. Forty-two percent of Republicans said they probably or definitely would not get vaccinated. Only 12% of Democrats said they would not take the vaccine.

Rural respondents gave three main reasons for refusing vaccination:

  • They were not worried that they or a family member will get sick from the coronavirus.
  • The seriousness of the pandemic is overblown.
  • And vaccination is more of a personal choice than a community responsibility.