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Story Publication logo August 20, 2021

The Struggle to Vaccinate Springfield, Missouri

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How are the Pulitzer Center team and its Campus Consortium community responding to the COVID-19...

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Sunset over Springfield. Image by Franciso Marques / Shutterstock. United States, 2017.

With rising cases of the Delta variant coupled with plateauing vaccination rates, towns and cities around the country struggle as they battle another wave of hospitalizations. In a piece for The New Yorker, journalist and Medill School of Journalism professor Peter Slevin explores Springfield, Missouri's struggle to manage surging COVID-19 numbers and vaccine reluctance.

In Springfield, healthcare workers have taken to the streets to provide information and resources about the vaccine to residents in a door-to-door initiative, Slevin writes. Data cited in the article states that nearly 95 percent of COVID-19 cases in the CoxHealth system are affecting unvaccinated residents.

Kali Blair, a nurse at Cox South Hospital in Springfield, tells Slevin, “We really, truly do exhaust everything that we have in us to keep these patients alive. You already feel defeated, because most patients don’t make it. You feel a different kind of defeat, because you’re doing everything in your power to keep somebody alive, and they don’t believe in what you’re doing.”

Slevin is an associate professor of journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, a Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium member. He spent a decade working on the national staff for The Washington Post and currently contributes to The New Yorker.

To read the full story, visit The New Yorker's website.


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Health Inequities

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