NEPHI, Utah. (ABC4) — Rural communities are facing disadvantages that will affect the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Historically rural counties find themselves without the resources that suburban communities have and during a pandemic, this puts them in an unfair position.

Rural communities get vaccinated less than suburban ones and rural community members said that’s due to a lack of education and misinformation. 

“We just don’t get as much information down here,” said Sophia Hosey.

“I think people need to listen to the science,” said Jeremiah Heaton.

Both Hosey and Heaton live in rural Juab County and said they are willing to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it rolls out despite the stigmas.

“They see the big city as far away and so education and everything else is that way for us in Salt Lake and so down here it’s like nope we want to do things our own way,” said Heaton.

That way, Heaton mentioned, historically shows an unwillingness to get vaccinated despite the proven research that shows vaccines work.

“I think it’s very personal some of these decisions, personal reactions to the vaccine,” said infection prevention Dr. Kristin Dascomb.

Dr. Dascomb works for Intermountain Healthcare and said preliminary data looks good on the COVID-19 vaccine but the issue is the data is preliminary. She said people need more data to trust this vaccine.

“The COVID vaccine is new,” said Dascomb. “We don’t have that long-term relationship with an understanding of its effectiveness or its adverse events, either in the short term or long term.”

Since the COVID vaccine is new Hosey said she will wait for it.

“I’m just kind of waiting like I said, to see how some stuff plays out since I am high risk,” said Hosey. “If it turns out that it’s working and that it’s alright then I am definitely going in to go get it.”

Sophia told ABC4 her mother doesn’t believe vaccines work. 

“Just the misinformation and the fear down here it just it combines such scary views,” said Hosey.

Dr. Dascomb said regardless if healthcare workers are in rural or suburban counties they will get the vaccine first. She said individual counties in rural areas will figure out what distribution plan works best for them when it comes time for the public to get it.

Click here to download the ABC4 Utah News app for the first alerts on your phone. Sign up for the ABC4 Utah breaking news and daily newsletters.