Only 18 states and Washington, D.C. exceeded President Biden's goal to fully or partially vaccinate at least 70% of their residents against Covid-19 before the July 4 holiday. Many in the South, Midwest, and East were far behind in a rollout that was polarized along party lines.
Joe Biden, the US President-elect, receives a Covid-19 vaccine. AFP via Getty Images
The Key Facts
According to The New York Times' tracker, Vermont, Hawaii, and Massachusetts had the highest rates of vaccinations among the few states that achieved Bidens goal. More than 80% of adult residents were at least partially immunized. Three states, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Wyoming, are still far from achieving a 50% vaccination rate. Mississippi is the least vaccinated state in the nation, with 46.3%. A third of the U.S. states that have not reached a 60% vaccination rate are in decline since June. This includes North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Seven states hover just above the 50% threshold: Alabama (52%), Tennessee (52%), West Virginia (52.0%) Idaho (52.8%), Arkansas (52.8%) and Georgia (54.6%).
Biden's 2020 goal was met by 18 states: Vermont, Hawaii Massachusetts, Connecticut Maine, New Mexico New Jersey Rhode Island, Pennsylvania Maryland California Washington New Hampshire New York Illinois Virginia Delaware Minnesota. The political divide in vaccine rollout is evident in the fact that the states with lowest vaccination rates are almost all red. Only three of them were won by Trump's predecessor.
67%. This is the number of Americans who have received at least one dose nationally of the vaccine, slightly less than Biden's goal of a 70% rate.
Public health officials emphasize the importance of getting vaccines because of the rapidly increasing threat from the delta variant. The virus' mutant strain is 40%-60% more likely to spread than the Alpha strain, which is the predominant strain in the U.S. It is increasing in prevalence every two weeks and is expected to double the number of cases in the country. Although the Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer vaccines have been effective in preventing symptomatic disease from occurring, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top infectious disease expert, warned that the variants could cause serious complications for those who are not vaccinated.
Fauci said that when you combine a low level vaccine with a highly efficient spread variant, you will see these types of blips in under-vaccinated areas, whether they are states, cities, or counties. It's almost as if there will be two Americas.
What to Watch
This week, the Biden administration announced that it would deploy rapid response teams to the U.S. in order to address the areas where the delta strain thrives. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC, stated that the CDC has identified approximately 1,000 counties primarily located in the South East, East and Midwest. These counties are particularly concerning because their vaccination rates are 30% or lower.
According to data from Forbes, 99.5% of people who were killed by covid in the last six months were not vaccinated.
Here are the Top Reasons to Worry (Forbes).
An Analysis of Data Shows That The Least Vaccinated States also Earn the Least (Forbes).
Here are the Groups that Still Cannot Get The Covid Vaccine. Why (Forbes).
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