An upstate New York county has one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the country.
Some 65 percent of Hamilton County residents are fully vaccinated against the virus, way better than the 36 percent of people nationwide and 41.6 percent across the Empire State, according to an ABC analysis of figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The rates fly in the face of polls that say Republicans are less willing to get the shot — in 2020, 68 percent of residents in the county voted for Donald Trump over Joe Biden, the report said.
“We’ve watched nationally, this political fight over COVID,” Bill Farber, chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, told ABC. “We defied the odds, didn’t we?”
The county is New York’s smallest by population, with about 4,800 residents, and is located within Adirondack Park — with no hospital, no pharmacy and bad cellphone service, ABC reported.
Forty-three percent of Republicans polled by Monmouth University had said they wanted to avoid a COVID-19 vaccination. A Monmouth University poll in April said 43 percent of GOP voters wanted to avoid the COVID-19 vaccination.
Hamilton officials told ABC they believed they were able to encourage residents to get jabbed by having word spread by neighbors and volunteers, rather than through political messaging.
Farber thinks this week’s announcement that fully-vaccinated people could go maskless in most circumstances may encourage some holdouts.
“Rather than getting caught up in it being a Republican or a Democrat issue, it really was seen as a community issue,” Farber told ABC. “I think that was our saving grace.”