Teton County flu shot clinics begin today

On the whole, Wyomingites do not like flu shots.

Public health officials have been beating the drum for years, telling people to get flu shots.

Turns out, Wyomingites aren’t getting the message.

Wallet Hub, a financial services site that also compiles a multitude of reports on social and economic issues, recently released a report that ranks Wyoming 47th in vaccination rates among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The study took into account factors including flu shot and childhood vaccination rates.

When it comes to flu shots, Wyoming is slightly worse than its overall ranking, placing 48th for what proportion of adults get flu vaccinations.

The state’s child flu vaccination rate is also the lowest in the country, with just 46% of kids getting the shot.

Massachusetts tops Wallet Hub’s list, with 81.1% of its children receiving the flu shot.

Wallet Hub’s report comes as coronavirus vaccines are being studied around the world. Several have reached Phase III trials, which means they have been shown to be generally safe and are being tested for efficacy.

However, the low vaccination rates in some states show that a COVID-19 vaccine may face an uphill battle in the push for herd immunity.

The Wallet Hub report cites a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that determined vaccines saved 732,000 lives in the United States between 1994 and 2013 and created a societal cost savings of $1.38 trillion.

“The first step to getting the vast majority of Americans to take a coronavirus vaccine is to educate people on the importance of vaccines and how much good they have done for public health,” the report said.

Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or thallberg@jhnewsandguide.com.

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

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