Vaccination rates have picked up in America. The quickening pace could not happen soon enough. As some states reopen, the wearing of masks and social distancing has disappeared in some places. Variants have threatened to spread COVID-19 more quickly.
Even as the rate at which the disease spreads has slackened, America remains the nation with the worst counts in confirmed and fatal cases. The United States has had 29,846,814 confirmed cases, which is about a quarter of the world’s total. Fatal cases in America number 543,481, about a fifth of the world’s total. New daily cases continue to hover around 50,000, which public health officials say remains dangerously high, despite being down sharply from two months ago.
Variants of the disease have spread to all 50 states, according to data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and reported to the public. The main variants are labeled B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and P.1. Other variants have emerged as well, although the CDC does not report on them directly. The B.1.1.7 variant spreads more aggressively than the others do and makes up a large percentage of the new cases in many states.
Twenty-two percent of Americans have been given at least one shot of a vaccine, and 12% have been fully vaccinated. A total of 147,590,615 doses have been delivered in the United States. From these, 113,037,627 shots have been given, so 77% of doses have been used.
The success of vaccination varies widely from state to state. Currently, New Mexico leads the nation with 30% of its population having received at least one shot. The state that has done the worst job is Georgia at 16%. New Mexico also has a strong track record for giving shots from doses it has received. These total 1,131,335, and the state has administered 983,709, which is 87%.
What makes New Mexico stand out? Certainly, the state has worked hard to deliver shots, even outside urban areas. According to the Santa Fe Reporter:
As part of a focus on equity in vaccine distribution, New Mexico’s health department has been targeting areas that have been hard hit by COVID-19, and rank high on the federal Social Vulnerability Index, which evaluates how certain factors, such as poverty, may impact a community’s ability to respond to a disaster.
Whatever the reasons, as states fight the disease, New Mexico’s residents are fortunate.