The rate of the spread of COVID-19 in America has dropped recently. Nevertheless, there are 28,526,532 confirmed cases in the United States, which is about 25% of the world’s total. There also have been 507,469 fatal cases, or 20% of the world’s total. Some scientists believe case counts actually are much higher, perhaps twice as many, because of undiagnosed people, some of whom have had no symptoms. Vaccination remains the best hope of arresting the spread of the disease. Yet, the rate of vaccination is very uneven from state to state.
Vaccination may not be a cure-all. New variants of the disease have reached the United States in the past several weeks. Some of these could spread faster or be more deadly than the version of the disease that has caused the most American infections over the past year.
In December, it was assumed that the vaccine would be widely available through the early months of 2021 as a means of taking America back to “normal” by midyear. As it turned out, some states ran out of vaccines almost completely. However, President Joe Biden recently said the federal government had arranged to get 200 million new doses by the end of July.
Right now, 13% of American adults have been given at least one dose of vaccine. Another 6.0% have received two shots. Some 82,114,370 doses have been delivered and 65,032,083 shots have been given, which means 79% of the doses have been used.
Utah is the state that has done the most poorly in vaccinating its population. Only 11% of adults have received at least one shot. Only 4.6% have been given two doses. This contrasts with the state with the best record, which is Alaska at 21%.
Utah has excelled in one area. The state has received 723,510 doses and given 611,048, a rate of 84% doses used.
Utah appears to have two hurdles when it comes to vaccination rates. One is delivery efficiency. TV station KUTV said of the vaccine delivery delays: “The Utah County Health Department said they’re seeing a slowdown in those seventy plus signing up for COVID-19 vaccine appointments.” The other hurdle is that the state may not force residents to be vaccinated. Radio station KJZZ reported that a committee in the Utah House of Representatives has unanimously passed a bill that would prohibit the government from requiring people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Based on what appear to be problems with vaccine rollout, Utah may stay at the bottom of the list of states vaccinating their populations for some time.