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County tops list of vaccine hesitant

The eleven most vaccine-hesitant counties in the nation are all located in Wyoming – and Crook County is one of them.

This county has the highest percentage of residents who are hesitant about the virus in the nation at an estimated 32%, according to statistical modeling performed for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This places Crook County at joint first in America, alongside Johnson, Converse, Washakie, Niobrara, Weston, Natrona, Campbell, Platte and Carbon Counties.

The number of citizens who are thought to be strongly hesitant is 17% in Crook County. This statistic is more or less the same in all eleven counties, which each have either an estimated 17% or 18% strongly hesitant.

The statistics were put together by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. State, county and sub-state predictions were created using federal survey data.

Every Wyoming county is listed within the top 1% of vaccine hesitancy, which includes 3142 American counties. All 23 counties have hesitancy rates of at least 28.56%.

However, it should be noted that the report is based on statistical estimates, which could be impacted by many potential variables.

Hesitancy was determined via survey answers. If a respondent indicated they would “probably” or “definitely” not receive a vaccine when available, they were listed as hesitant; if they indicated they would “definitely” not receive a vaccine, they were recorded as strongly hesitant.

The statistical model lists Crook County as very low on the social vulnerability index, a scoring system developed by the CDC that uses census variables to help identify the communities that may need support before, during or after a disaster such as a pandemic.

However, Crook County is also listed as being highly vulnerable in its ability to handle a COVID-19 outbreak. This was taken from the Surge COVID-19 Vaccine Coverage Index (CVAC), which measures how well a community may be able to handle the repercussions of an outbreak according to factors such as access to healthcare, affordable housing, transportation, childcare and safe and secure employment.

At this time, the CDC records that just 16.9% of adults in Crook County are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Of the 11 counties that top the list of vaccine hesitancy, only Campbell County has a lower vaccination rate at 12.8%.

By comparison, the American counties with the highest recorded levels of vaccination are Chattahoochee County in Georgia at 91.2% and Nome Census Area in Alaska at 62.2%.

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