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Data: KFF; Chart: Axios Visuals

Rural Americans are especially hesitant to receive a coronavirus vaccine, and only a highly tailored outreach campaign is likely to change that.

The big picture: Even as the coronavirus has surged throughout rural America, most people who live in those areas don’t see vaccination part of a social responsibility to help protect others.

By the numbers: In our KFF polling, 35% of rural Americans say they probably or definitely will not get vaccinated, compared to 26% of urban Americans.

  • Rural Americans are less worried than their urban counterparts that someone in their family will get sick from the virus, and they're more likely to say the pandemic is exaggerated.

Between the lines: Many people in rural America are part of President Trump's base, but partisanship alone does not fully explain their vaccine hesitancy.

  • 62% of rural residents see getting vaccinated as a personal choice, compared with just 36% who see it as part of their responsibility to protect the health of others in the community.

My thought bubble: Addressing this hesitancy will require convincing rural Americans about the seriousness of the pandemic, and then that the vaccine is a way to protect them, their families and their way of life. 

  • As neighbors are vaccinated, some of the hesitancy we see in rural America may fade away.
  • But it will require very targeted digital messaging to reach these more conservative, vaccine-resistant rural populations, including targeted ad buys on Fox News, Newsmax, OANN and other information channels they trust.

Go deeper.

Go deeper

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

Updated 5 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.