As the rate of new cases of COVID-19 continues to drop, the effort to get back to “normal” has become a race between vaccination on one hand and a level of what many experts believe is a careless effort to reopen the economy on the other. The decision by Texas Governor Gregory Abbott to drop the mask mandate of the nation’s second-largest state caused particular consternation among those who want to allow vaccination rates to rise before public gatherings begin.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States number 29,337,446. The rate at which they rise on a daily basis has dropped by two-thirds in the past two months. However, the figure remains about 25% of the world’s total. Fatal cases total 531,398, which is a fifth of the global total.
The national vaccination rate has risen steadily for the past three weeks and has reached 18% for those who have received at least one dose. Just over 9% have had two shots. A total of 116,378,615 doses have been delivered, and from those 92,089,852 shots have been given.
The vaccination rates vary widely from state to state. Currently, Alaska has the best record. It was the first state to pass the level of 25% of its residents getting at least one dose of vaccine. As of yesterday, 16% of residents had received two shots, which is also the best number among all states.
At the far end of the spectrum, Georgia has struggled. It ranks last as measured by the percentage of residents who have been given at least one dose, at 13%. Only 8.5% have received two doses. Some 3,437,635 doses have been delivered to the state, but from these only 2,391,999 shots have been given.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp says the numbers are misleading. He commented to the 11 Alive TV station: “You don’t see on that website where Georgia’s at 60% of vaccinating people over 65 years of age, and the national average is 49%. We have got to target the population that gets hit the hardest.” However, that is no defense. The state still lags significantly.