Today’s Interview: UK researchers lead new study looks at vaccine hesitancy in eastern Kentucky
Researchers at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health have launched a study into vaccine hesitancy in eastern Kentucky.
The project is called the Kentuckians Vaccinating Appalachian Communities or K-VAC. Their goal is to addresses the lower vaccination rates in Eastern Kentucky compared to other parts of the Commonwealth and the U.S.
Dr. Marc Kiviniemi is one of the co-principal investigators on the project. He said the low number of eastern Kentuckians getting the vaccine prompted the study.
“The rates are somewhere between 10 to 25, 30% lower than the state as a whole, even though we’re in the same commonwealth, we have the same state health department, a lot of the same messaging around vaccination, there are very real differences how many folks are seeking out and obtaining the COVID vaccination.”
Dr. Kathryn Cardarelli is also one of the co-principal investigators on the Kentuckians Vaccinating Appalachian Communities study. She said they are going to have to overcome some cultural obstacles in their work.
“Our project builds on some longstanding relationships that several of us on the team have been building with important thought leaders in Appalachia, so as to elicit community input into everything we do.”
The project is a collaboration between the UK College of Public health, investigators from the UK College of Communication and Information, UK College of Medicine, and the Kentucky Department for Public Health.
**In a sea of partisan news, WEKU is your source for public service, fact-based journalism. Monthly sustaining donors are the top source of funding for this growing nonprofit news organization. Please join others in your community who support WEKU by making your donation.