The Iowa Amish Have Shunned the COVID-19 Vaccine
I've always been fascinated with Amish culture and tradition. As a kid, my dad and I would travel to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to visit friends of his. The city has a huge Amish population, about 25,000, and my dad's pals were friendly with some of the area Amish. As a child, it's hard to grasp someone not being interested in a Walkman (that dates me) or video games. I have to say, I still have that fascination as an adult.
In Iowa, cases have dropped. But not every community has embraced the vaccine
I was quite interested to know how the Amish community would respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Obviously, COVID was not kind to anyone. Not any group, race, religion, etc. It has sickened millions worldwide and killed scores of people without caring about a person's background. Now that we have three approved vaccines, we've turned the corner on the virus, and cases nationwide are dropping.
In Iowa, our positivity rate is down to 3.3% over the past 14-days according to the state's COVID-19 dashboard. KCCI reports as of Monday, May 17th, 2.6 million Iowans are now vaccinated. But there's one group in Iowa that's not interested in being vaccinated: The Amish. Again, I find it fascinating. Why aren't they interested? Such a tight-knit group of people who love big gatherings. You'd think they'd be all about it.
Iowa has roughly 7,000 Amish residents, many have shunned the COVID vaccines
According to Amish America, Iowa's Amish population as of 2020 was right around 7,000. It's well known the Amish don't believe in modern technology. They do not use electricity. They don't operate tractors, cars, or computers. But this also extends to vaccinations. According to a report in the Gazette, Iowa's Amish population Kalona has a good reason for not being vaccinated: COVID has not been an issue. According to the story, Kalona has 1,300 Amish residents. Of that number, only a small handful had to be hospitalized due to COVID. In fact, the Amish community in Kalona has already returned to 'normality with large gatherings and church services.
This is not the case everywhere: some Amish communities were hit hard by COVID
If the Iowa Amish populous has been spared, it's because many had suspended big gatherings during the peak of the virus. But in some Amish communities in the U.S., they weren't as lucky, nor as careful. The Amish in northeastern Ohio got hit hard by the pandemic and, according to Ohio's KHN, only 10% of the population in Ohio's largest Amish county are fully vaccinated.
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