In a creepy article titled “Are your neighbors vaccinated? Michigan map shows rates by census tracts,” Bridge Michigan posted a map of the state showing the density of vaccinated residents – in some cases down to the neighborhood level.
The map shows that metro Detroit and Lansing are some of the most heavily vaccinated parts of the state, but concludes that vaccination rates “vary widely,” and that vaccination in predominantly Black areas is occurring at a lower rate than in predominantly White areas.
“In Genesee County, state data from late May showed that just over 30 percent of residents 18 and older in most of Flint’s majority Black neighborhoods had their first shot, compared to a rate of 46 percent for the county and 51 percent statewide. (The statewide rate is now about 60 percent)” the story noted.
It quoted Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley, who said Black Michiganders might be afraid to take the vaccine.
“People have a fear of the unknown. People don’t know what could happen to them after taking the vaccine,” he reportedly said.
“That pattern follows in other African-American communities in Michigan, from Detroit and Pontiac to Muskegon and Saginaw, highlighting a problem experts say is rooted in access, poverty and distrust of public health officials,” the story continued.
The article also begrudgingly admitted that supporters of former President Donald J. Trump are taking the vaccine in a subsection called “Yes, Trump voters are getting vaccinated.”
“Of the 72 counties that supported former Republican President Donald Trump, 36 had the lowest vaccination rates in the state,” according to the article. “Five of the 10 counties with the highest vaccination rates went for Democratic President Joe Biden. That leaves a lot of exceptions, as education and wealth are better indicators of vaccination rates. Leelanau County has the highest vaccination rate in the state (76 percent as of Wednesday) and went for Biden. No. 2 was Grand Traverse (71 percent) and it went for Trump.”
After 16 months of some of the most intense COVID-19 lockdown protocols, which appeared to have little-to-no bearing on infection rates or deaths, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) this week announced that the state will finally drop the rest of its restrictions next Tuesday.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Michigan Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.