Vaccine Hesitancy Highest in Wyoming
According to data from the US Census Bureau from the end of March, Wyoming is currently the state with the highest rates of vaccine hesitancy, at 33.2%, and the only state currently in the 30s.
Since the bureau started tracking this data in January, Wyoming has not always ranked number one, with Louisiana surpassing Wyoming back in January with 36.7%.
Besides in January, Wyoming has been at the top of the list for the remaining few months, reaching a peak of 37.9% back at the beginning of March.
The top reasons listed in Wyoming for vaccine hesitancy are, in descending order: concerns about the side effects at 44.7%, not believing there is a need for it at 40.1%, and not trusting the COVID-19 vaccine at 36.7%.
The rate of hesitancy has so far not translated into a large difference in the rates of vaccination in Wyoming compared to the rest of the country.
Currently just over 44% of the state has gotten their first shot, which is a few points under the national average of 47% of people 18 years or older having gotten their first dose of the vaccine.
Kim Deti, Public Information Officer for the Wyoming Department of Health, said there are several challenges Wyoming faces when it comes to getting people to take the vaccine.
"Politicization is a concern, of course," Deti said. "In addition, Wyoming has had low levels of COVID-19 illnesses and hospitalizations for a while now, which affects threat perception. With our virus situation and with schools and businesses open it may be harder for some people to see the personal need for vaccination."