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Health & Science

Vaccine Privilege: Public Health Experts Say Wealthier Ohioans Have It

Nurse administers shot at Columbus clinic
Dan Konik
Statehouse News Bureau
A nurse administers shot at a COVID-19 clinic in Columbus. According to the state's metrics on the number of people who have been vaccinated, the counties with the highest levels of income and education top the list.

If you look at Ohio’s vaccination dashboard right now, you’ll see many of Ohio’s highest income counties and those with the highest education levels have the higher vaccination rates. Public policy health leaders say that’s just what they’d expect right now. 

Dr. Ayez Hyder, assistant professor at the College of Public Health at Ohio State University, says he’s not surprised that higher-income counties have higher vaccination rates. Hyder says it’s been a challenge for low-income people who might lack technology or mastery of it to schedule appointments. He says they might lack transportation to get to clinics or might not have a flexible schedule or sick time to go to those clinics. He says it all comes down to who has accessibility. 

“Accessibility comes with privilege, and certainly it’s the higher income counties that have that privilege," Hyder said.

Hyder says he thinks the numbers in lower income counties will increase as health officials make more walk-in clinics available, provide transportation to sites, and do more in-home or community outreach visits. 
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