ATLANTA — The coronavirus vaccines have been rolled out unevenly across the U.S., but some states in the Deep South have had particularly dismal inoculation rates. Data from the states and the CDC shows less than 2% of the population in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina had received its first dose of a vaccine at the start of this week.
So far, the highest states have managed to vaccinate about 5% of their populations.
As in other parts of the country, southern states face challenges: limited vaccine supplies, some health care workers who refuse the shot and bureaucratic systems not equipped to schedule the huge number of appointments.
Public health researchers note the South has typically lagged in funding public health systems and addressing disparities in care for its large rural populations.