COVID-19 Vaccination Rates in Rural Areas

The CDC published a study of the comparative COVID-19 vaccination rates in rural and urban areas in the latest edition of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).  The full report can be accessed

What is already known about this topic?

Residents of rural communities are at increased risk for severe COVID-19–associated morbidity and mortality. In September 2020, COVID-19 incidence (cases per 100,000 population) in rural counties surpassed that in urban counties.

What is added by this report?

COVID-19 vaccination coverage was lower in rural counties (38.9%) than in urban counties (45.7%); disparities persisted among age groups and by sex.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Disparities in COVID-19 vaccination access and coverage between urban and rural communities can hinder progress toward ending the pandemic. Public health practitioners should collaborate with health care providers, pharmacies, employers, faith leaders, and other community partners to identify and address barriers to COVID-19 vaccination in rural areas.