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Tribes credited with elevating vaccinations in rural Arizona

By TERRY TANG Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) — In a pandemic that has seen sharp divides between urban and rural vaccination rates nationwide, Arizona is the only state where rural vaccine rates outpaced more populated counties according to a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public health experts believe the unexpected trend was mainly fueled by a group that lost a disproportionate number of lives to COVID-19: Native Americans. The devastating loss — particularly of elders — drove pushing vaccination as an act of selflessness. Arizona's own data did not include vaccinations conducted through the Indian Health Service, a federal agency. But the CDC's did.