Home Census rate Albemarle County has the highest COVID-19 vaccination rate in the state. ...

Albemarle County has the highest COVID-19 vaccination rate in the state. Why?

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Albemarle County now has the highest COVID-19 vaccination rate in Virginia.

As of Friday, just over 70% of all residents in the county had received at least one dose of the vaccine and nearly 60% were fully immunized.

The rates are just above other major municipalities, such as the city of Fairfax and County of Loudoun. Meanwhile, they are eclipsing the counties at the bottom of the immunization scale. Patrick County, for example, is among the lowest with just 30% of the population fully vaccinated and 32% with at least one dose.

It’s impossible to pinpoint exactly why Albemarle conducted vaccinations, but he has one thing in common with other highly vaccinated areas – it’s rich.

“In general, areas with low levels of socio-economic vulnerability have higher vaccination rates,” said Clare Brown, University of Arkansas assistant professor for medical sciences.

Brown recently conducted an analysis of thousands of counties to determine which factors contribute the most to vaccination rates. The study did not include Virginia.

To determine whether a region was socioeconomically vulnerable, the researchers looked at a county’s per capita income and the number of people who had less than a high school diploma, lived below the poverty line, and were unemployed and uninsured.

The study also found that type of housing, transportation and disabilities strongly influenced vaccination rates. This means, in general, that there are fewer people vaccinated in areas that are more densely populated with multi-dwelling structures, have more single-parent houses, have people without cars and have people with disabilities.

“So we don’t really identify a thing, that more people in a household mean it,” Brown said. “In a way, that complicates the analysis. This makes it more difficult to identify a single factor. But he doesn’t put too much emphasis on one thing either. There are all kinds of things that are related.

The general conclusion, she said, is that the richer an area, the more likely its residents are to get vaccinated.

Albemarle hits multiple markers from a rich area. Its median household income is around $ 80,000 and less than 7% of its residents live below the poverty line, according to census data.

Ninety-two percent of the population has a high school diploma and 52% has a bachelor’s degree or above. More than 63% of residents own their home.

“Albemarle County is one of the best educated and most progressive regions in the Commonwealth,” said Donna Price, member of the Albemarle board of directors.

The areas with the lowest vaccination rates in the state show markers of being less wealthy. In Patrick, the median income is $ 43,000. More than 15% of the inhabitants live there below the poverty line. And 20% did not graduate from high school.

Albemarle’s numbers are on par with those of other counties in Virginia with high vaccination rates. Many are clustered around Washington, DC

“A lot of counties in Northern Virginia have the same factors, and you can see it in the dark blue cluster of areas on the state’s immunization rates map,” said Glen Barbour, Loudoun County spokesperson. , which has the second highest vaccination rate in the state.

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