The pace at which COVID-19 is spreading across the United States has slowed considerably. Hospitalizations for the disease have dropped to their lowest level since mid-November. Nevertheless, the disease has killed 525,560 Americans, which is about 20% of the world’s total. Confirmed cases in the United States have risen to 29,130,219. The daily increases in these two numbers have dropped by half in just over six weeks.
The race to contain the disease as completely as possible has picked up momentum. The primary reason for optimism is the rate of increases in vaccinations. A vaccine from Johnson & Johnson has joined the ones from Pfizer and Moderna.
A big challenge of vaccinating the nation is the pace at which doses are available. President Donald Trump said the rate of vaccination would be rapid through the early part of 2021. That did not happen. Instead, the Biden administration has been left to catch up to expectations. It will not be easy. However, the White House recently said it had procured enough vaccines to treat every American adult by the end of May.
So far, 16% of Americans have been given at least one dose of vaccine. Just over 8% have received two doses. Across the country, 109,905,530 doses have been delivered and 82,572,848 shots have been administered.
Alaska has done the best job of vaccinating its population. At this point, 24% of its residents have received at least one dose, and 8.4% have been given two doses.
Why has Alaska done so well? Recently, one observer told the New Yorker:
We’re on track to complete vaccinations this spring. In many rural towns throughout the state, it is the tribal health organizations, not the state government, that are in charge of vaccine distribution.
Alaska also has a large military presence. This group also has its own vaccination system, which has been highly effective.
Perhaps other states have the excuse that Alaska has at least two means to distribute vaccines that they do not. That likely won’t satisfy their residents.