INDIANAPOLIS — COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the state and health leaders continue to say the vaccine is the way out.
Still, many are choosing not to get vaccinated. Vaccination rates vary county by county and even neighborhood to neighborhood.
As of Friday, the 46218 area code had the lowest percentage of eligible residents vaccinated against COVID-19 in Marion County.
That zip code includes parts of the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood.
“We had COVID-19 in February. It wasn't fun," resident Deandra Graves said. "We weren’t hospitalized, but it wasn't fun and I've had a lot of people that I know that passed away from COVID-19, so I know it is not a joke and I know that it is serious, I just haven’t made my mind up yet to get the vaccine."
Graves said she was not surprised to learn just 35% of eligible residents in her zip code were fully vaccinated. That percentage is lower than the 54% of eligible residents who are vaccinated in Marion County.
“Some people are afraid because they are scared it may do something to them, harm them more than actually the COVID-19 would,” Graves said.
Many others said they are still trying to decide if they want to get it and say they’re interested in learning more about the vaccine before choosing to get it.
“We have to look at the groups who are saying they don't believe in the vaccine or they are worried about the vaccine because they have other concerns depending on what population they are in,” said Shandy Dearth, director for the Center of Public Health Practice at IUPUI’s Fairbanks School of Public Health.
She said a lot of work has been down to reduce barriers and increase access to the vaccine.
“In the beginning I think our biggest concern was access, transportation to get to the site, childcare, that can be an issue for a lot of working parents, language issues, so we need to make sure we’ve got translation available… but now that we are kind of past that we’ve been able to address most of those issues," Dearth said. "What we are seeing is a lot of people just not getting vaccinated because they are choosing to not be vaccinated."
She said the reason for that can vary based on demographics and location.
“One thing that we've seen is there's a difference in rural versus urban and unfortunately there's been a big divide among political parties which is unfortunate because the vaccine does not care who you vote for,” Dearth said. “We all want to move past this. We've got the tools to move past this but until we get more people vaccinated we are kind of stuck.”
To view an updated map of vaccination rates throughout the state, click here.