In rural communities, farmers may be key to boosting vaccine rates

Farmers have deep, generational ties in rural communities across America—a fact that experts say makes them more trustworthy to their neighbors than medical authorities. That’s why groups like the National Rural Health Association are joining forces with the National Farmers Union in a bid to boost vaccine rates in rural towns, NPR reports. Vaccination rates in many of these communities have lagged from the start of the vaccine rollout, but what was once an access issue has morphed into an issue of trust. Recent polling suggests that most unvaccinated people simply don’t want the vaccine. Health organizations are hoping that farmers and ranchers—who know well the benefits of immunization among their herds—can help corral folks in clinics and doctors offices as new Covid-19 hotspots emerge throughout the South, Midwest, and West, where vaccination rates are low.

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