The University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Nursing has received $377,000 in funding from the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability to offer education on the COVID-19 vaccine to residents in rural counties.
“People have gotten information about the vaccines from various sources like social media or simply conversations around a neighbor’s kitchen table,” Diana Dedmon, the director of Clinical Affairs and the Michael Carter Endowed Professor, said in the press release. “We want to offer trusted information from the Centers for Disease Control (and Prevention) and the Tennessee Department of Health, and let people make their own decisions.”
In general, vaccination rates have been lower in rural counties than in more urban areas. As of December, children and teenagers in Tennessee’s rural counties were being vaccinated as much as five times slower than in cities and suburbs. This divide can leave the state as a whole more vulnerable to any future surges or variants.