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Politics

TN Politics: Addressing Myths Around Vaccination Rates

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Who is getting vaccinations and who isn't? That's a topic of consternation as researchers examine vaccination rates among different communities. 

In terms of race, some data theorizes that Black communities are wary of vaccines due to mistrust of government. But political analyst Otis Sanford says the more likely explanation in Memphis for why African Americans are getting shots at a lower rate is simply accessibility. The process, so far, has required appointments, time off work, transportation -- all things that make getting shots more challenging. That could change, he says, as the city adds conveniences such as evening hours and walk-up shots. 

Other studies show that Republicans and white evangelicals are foregoing vaccines at alarming levels. This, Sanford says, has nothing to do with safety or accessibility, but politics. "Spite," he says, could be keeping millions of people from getting the protection they need to keep themselves and their familes safe.