Inside one of Indiana's least-vaccinated counties

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Posted at 6:33 PM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 19:09:07-04

Only 16 people came to Tuesday’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Franklin County, Indiana. It was a coup compared to past efforts.

The Franklin County Fair reeled in only 33 attendees willing to be vaccinated over the course of its three days, illustrating the struggle to administer shots in Indiana’s second least-vaccinated county.

Less than 26% of Franklin County’s population is vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, which is once again spreading in the United States thanks to the highly contagious delta variant.

“I feel like we’re not getting all the information,” said Emily Shepherd, a Franklin County resident and mother of seven who is not vaccinated, on Wednesday. “I feel like vaccines that were for serious things such as rubella, chicken pox, mumps, those took years to come up with. This has only been a couple years, and they’re telling us to get the vaccine.”

Dr. Thomas Huth, who practices in nearby Wayne County, said misinformation about the vaccine is widespread in the area and it’s difficult to convince his patients they need it.

Eight people at his hospital were on ventilators Wednesday afternoon.

Huth hopes the outlook for his community improves.

Two more vaccination clinics are planned for Franklin County. Health officials said they hope for participation — and they hope it'll be more than 16 people.