From “Why Mississippi Has Few Takers for 73,000 Covid Shots,” a 4.9 N.Y. Times story by Andrew Jacobs:

“A closer look at Mississippi’s demographics explains why [Covid vaccine] hesitancy may be especially pronounced. The state reliably votes Republican, a group that remains highly skeptical of the coronavirus vaccine. Nearly half of all Republican men and 40 percent of Republicans over all have said they do not plan to get vaccinated, according to several recent surveys.

“Those figures have barely budged in the months since vaccines first became available. By contrast, just 4 percent of Democrats have said they will not get the vaccine.

“Another factor in the state’s low vaccination rate may be Mississippi’s large Black community, which comprises 38 percent of the state’s population but accounts for 31 percent of the doses administered, according to state data.

“Vaccine hesitancy remains somewhat high among African-Americans, though the doubts and distrust — tied to longstanding neglect by the health care system and past government malfeasance like the notorious Tuskegee syphilis experiments — have markedly declined in recent months.

“The hesitancy has national implications. Experts say between 70 percent to 90 percent of all Americans must be vaccinated for the country to reach herd immunity, the point at which the virus can no longer spread through the population.”