Open spaces, no pharmacies: rural US confronts vaccine void


Boxes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the Pfizer Global Supply Kalamazoo manufacturing plant in Portage, Mich., Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool)

SURRY, Va. (AP) – Getting a COVID-19 vaccine has been a challenge for residents of rural U.S. counties without a pharmacy or a well-equipped clinic.

People in Virginia’s Surry County drove up to an hour away before local officials pressured the state to start delivering doses. So-called “pharmacy deserts” highlight a health care disparity that’s become even more stark during the pandemic. More than 400 rural counties lack a pharmacy that’s partnering with the federal government to administer vaccine shots.

And hurdles to obtaining a vaccine aren’t limited to rural areas. One study identified 94 counties where Black residents were more likely than white residents to have to travel more than 10 miles to reach a potential vaccination site.

© 2021 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. Material may not be redistributed.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Continuing The Conversation
See Full Weather Forecast

Trending Stories

Don't Miss!

More Don't Miss

Your Guide To

KELOLAND News is covering the Coronavirus outbreak. We have created a guide to everything you need to know to prepare. We also have the latest stories from across the globe feeding into this page.