Health and Healthcare

COVID-19: This Is The State Where The Most People Have Been Vaccinated

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CDC data show that, as of New Year’s Eve, approximately 12.4 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines had been distributed across America. Of these only 2.8 million had been administered. The totals are a moving target. They are based on accurate, or inaccurate, reporting delays, which may be by a day or more, and totally new deliveries which arrive from place to place, hour by hour. Regardless of how exact the numbers are now, the process is well behind schedule. The plan was that 20 million Americans would be vaccinated by the end of 2020. One thing for certain is that the pace of vaccination from state to state varies widely.

Government data reported by state, available through New Year’s Eve show state vaccination rates which run as high as 50% and as low as 11%. The state with the highest figure is South Dakota at 49.6%. There have been 38,225 doses distributed and 18,960 administered.

South Dakota desperately needs a high vaccination rate. Death rates per 100,000 people have been among the highest in the nation for weeks. The numbers have fallen, but modestly. According to The New York Times, deaths per 100,000 people based on an average of the last seven days stand at one. South Dakota ranks 47th among states based on population at 892,717. However, its COVID-19 confirmed case count ranks 36th among all states at 99,164. Fatal cases are 1,488.

Another reason the South Dakota number should encourage residents comes from the extent to which the state government ignored the threat of the spread of the disease, and then did little to arrest it. Gov. Kristi Noem even offered bar owners from Minnesota to move to South Dakota because of its lax restrictions. On Twitter, she posted, “Come to South Dakota! We respect your rights. We won’t shut you down.”

There is still a long way to go before vaccines are available for all residents of South Dakota. The challenge will then be to convince a large enough part of the population to take it. There are rising reports that people, some of whom are health workers, have refused the vaccine across many states. The notion that 70% or 80% of Americans could be vaccinated by Summer has already slipped away.

Nevertheless, if every state could drive its vaccination rate as high as South Dakota’s is today the goal to vaccinate most Americans could not be so terribly far away.

COVID-19: This Is The State Where The Fewest People Have Been Vaccinated


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