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Senior citizen receives a Covid-19 vaccine as part of a collaborative effort from the West Virginia National Guard. Photo: Stephen Zenner/Getty Images

In 11 states, more than 20% of senior citizens remain unvaccinated, a rate much higher than the national average, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: People over 65 years old are particularly vulnerable to experiencing severe symptoms and death from COVID-19.

  • Seniors who remain unvaccinated could threaten their states' recoveries from the virus, especially as many states move to ease health restrictions, notes the Times.

The state of play: Nationwide, 87% of those 65 and older have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, per the Times.

  • In Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee, Georgia, Idaho and Missouri roughly 20% of seniors haven't received a single dose of the vaccine.
  • In West Virginia and Wyoming, more than 20% haven't gotten their first doses.

The big picture: Many of these states are in the South, where vaccination rates at large have lagged and experts warn there may be a summer surge in COVID-19 cases, according to the New York Times.

  • Factors influencing seniors to not get vaccinated "conspiracy theories, a belief in pseudoscience and a libertarian mind-set" that dislikes being told "what to do," Michael S. Saag, associate dean for global health and professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told the Times.

Go deeper

Sep 24, 2021 - Health

Judge denies Massachusetts State Police attempt to delay state vaccine mandate

Photo: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A Superior Court judge on Thursday denied the request of the union representing 1,800 Massachusetts State Police troopers to delay the governor's state employee vaccine mandate, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: State workers who aren't vaccinated in Massachusetts by Oct. 17 will face disciplinary action, including possible termination.

White House says it expects federal contractors to be vaccinated by Dec. 8

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House said in new guidance Friday that it expects millions of federal contractors to be vaccinated against the coronavirus no later than Dec. 8.

Why it matters: Companies with federal contractors have been waiting for formal guidance from the White House before requiring those employees to get vaccinated, according to Reuters.

Sep 24, 2021 - Health

Delta asks other carriers to share "no-fly" lists of unruly passengers

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Delta Air Lines wants competitors to release their no-fly lists of banned passengers who have exhibited unruly behavior, CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Flight attendants and pilot labor unions have voiced their concerns about handling hostile passengers at unprecedented rates since the start of the pandemic.

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