HMG concerned about rural vaccinations due to prevalence of risk factors


(WJHL) -Doctors are urging people in rural regions like the Tri-Cities to get vaccinated, in part because of the prevalence of risk factors like obesity, diabetes and lung disease.

Recently, the group Region AHEAD conducted a survey in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

They found 65% of those surveyed intend to get vaccinated once it is available to them.

HMG physician Dr. Ann Townsend said percentage-wise, that is not enough to get to what’s called “herd immunity.”

“Those estimates go 75 percent to 85 percent. Somewhere around there. Obviously, say, we’re at 50 percent, that’s great. That’s a great start. The vaccine is one of the few things we have in fighting this pandemic,” Dr. Ann Townsend said.

HMG has also not received vaccinations for patients from the state department of health.

“We have people also asking us for vaccines every day. Every day in the clinic, it’s like, ‘I can’t get this vaccine. Where can I get it? I’m ready to get it.’ They are meeting the criteria as far as age to get it, and they just can’t get it anywhere,” Dr. Townsend said.

Dr. Townsend encourages those who are vulnerable to get vaccinated when it is available to them.

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