The spread of COVID-19 has slowed more rapidly than many scientists and public policy experts expected. A month ago, daily confirmed cases often rose by over 200,000 a day many days. That rate slowed to 70,592 yesterday, as the U.S. total rose to 28,100,922. That is still 25% of the world’s total. Deaths from the disease, which increased by as much as 4,000 a day a month ago, rose 2,253 yesterday to 495,180, or about 20% of the global figure.
The improvement likely has been helped by government policy for social distancing, partial shutdowns of the economy, the fact that so many people already have had the disease and a modest rise in vaccination rates. Vaccines are not completely effective without two doses. Some states have done a much better job of this than others.
Nationwide, 73,377,450 doses have been delivered. Out of those, 57,737,767 shots have been given. Most of those remain first doses. Across the United States, people who have been given at least one shot are 12.0% of the total adult population. The figure for those given two shots is up to 4.9%.
The state with the worst record for giving second doses is Alabama at 3.4%. It also ranks poorly for giving at least one shot at 10.0%. In total, the state has received 1,032,175 doses, and from those, 672,038 shots have been given, which is a rate of 65%. That is well below that national figure of 79%.
Since the start of the pandemic, Alabama has posted 483,167 confirmed cases and 9,346 fatal ones. Of these, 69,808 cases have been in Jefferson County, home to Birmingham. The county has had 1,308 coronavirus fatalities.
Part of the vaccination problem in the state may be due to outside forces. AL.com reports:
The state’s initial shipment was one tenth of what Alabama had hoped to get from the Trump administration to cover about 300,000 healthcare workers. Alabama’s second Pfizer shipment was reduced at the last minute, leaving public health officials scrambling to reschedule vaccine appointments with healthcare workers on the cusp of the holiday.
An additional twist is that many people in Alabama have refused to get vaccinated at all.
Alabama’s figure lags so far behind the national average that it may never reach that pace. So, even as the rapidity of the spread of COVID-19 drops off, residents will struggle to get their shots without substantial changes.