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The high death toll in other parts of the country has not necessarily resulted in high vaccination rates.
In Greenville County, SC, where at least one in 508 residents died, approximately 40 percent of those eligible were fully vaccinated. In East Feliciana Parish, La., Where one in 168 has died, approximately 29 percent of the eligible population are fully vaccinated. And in San Bernardino, California, where one in 455 dies, only 43 percent of eligible residents are fully vaccinated.
In the Rio Grande Valley, vaccines are part of the fabric of the region, said Dr. Prot. Parents know that their children need to be vaccinated against diseases such as measles and polio before starting school, and this feeling often carries over to adults. She said she saw patients complain of upper respiratory diseases who preferred an injection to a pill, which many people here consider to be less effective.
“In Hispanic and Mexican culture, they always say, ‘Okay, you have to get your shots to go to school,'” she said. “It’s part of the culture that they have to get vaccinated.”
Recent polls confirm this assumption: According to an NPR / PBS NewsHour / Marist poll of 1,227 adults in early March, 63 percent of participating Latinos said they either planned to get the vaccine or had already received it. (But the number of those who hesitated – 37 percent – was slightly higher than that of the black and white.)
While the country as a whole is not on track to meet President Biden’s goal of at least partially vaccinating 70 percent of adults by July 4, the Rio Grande Valley is approaching that threshold.
In Hidalgo County, where one in 308 residents died from the coronavirus, and nearby Cameron County, where one in 252 residents died, about 60 percent of those qualified were fully vaccinated, according to a New York tracker Times. In Starr County, a mostly rural area with a single single-story hospital where one in 213 have died, it’s about 70 percent.