New data shows big gaps in COVID-19 vaccination rates across Meck County

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — Mecklenburg County has released COVID-19 vaccination rates by ZIP code for the first time, and it shows a big gap in rates between Charlotte neighborhoods.

As of April 30, most areas around uptown and south Charlotte were at about 50% vaccinated, while neighborhoods on the east and west sides of town were below 30%.

“We all recognize the vaccine works, so I’m not surprised,” said David Amory, who is vaccinated.

The area in Charlotte with the highest participation is Myers Park at 71%. East Charlotte, around Albemarle Road has the lowest at 20%.

“You should be more afraid of COVID than the vaccine,” said Shelley Dean, who is vaccinated.

East Charlotte and Myers Park don’t have a lot in common in terms of money and resources. There is also a great divide between who is taking the vaccine and who is not.

“I just don’t see the urgency. I think everything is dying down,” said Tamar Agbegha, who is not vaccinated.

Agbegha had the virus, and he still doesn’t trust the system.

The ZIP code map shows that the more affluent areas in the city like Myers Park, South End, Dilworth, and Ballantyne show the highest levels of vaccine shots taken. All of those areas are above 50%.

“At the beginning I was a little hesitant, not that I wouldn’t have gotten it,” said Annette Amory.

Amory eventually got the shot, but she wished everyone would look past their fears and concerns. The same goes for Roma Bates and her daughter, Marlena, who live where the vaccine hesitancy is the highest.

“At this point, they need the shot. It’s very important to have. To me, people are not taking it serious at all ‘cause COVID is real serious. I work at the hospital, and it’s real serious. People dying from it every day. It’s really serious,” Bates said.

The COVID-19 map comes out at a time when many of the mass vaccination clinics are beginning to wind down. It’s clear to a lot of experts the strategy going forward should be to take the vaccine to those who are hesitant instead of expecting them to come to you.