NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee ranks 48th in the country for the number of fully vaccinated adults and many “red” states across the country also lag in vaccinations.
As of Wednesday, 23.7% of adults in Tennessee have been fully vaccinated, followed by Alabama (22.7%) and Georgia (21.9%). While on the flip side, states that tend to vote Democrat have higher vaccination percentages.
Dr. James Hildreth, President of Meharry Medical College, says while he believes vaccines should not be made political, the data shows otherwise.
“It’s been noted across the South, especially in rural communities, that’s where a lot of the vaccine resistance has been observed. And unfortunately, most of those appear to be people who were supporting the former president. I mean that’s just the reality of it. I firmly believe that when you have the right message, delivered by the right messengers, reasonable people will make the choice to get the vaccine and that’s what we’ve got to do.”
A poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in late March found that Republicans were three times as likely as Democrats to say they will probably or definitely not get vaccinated.