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 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 30,161,747 confirmed cases, which is about a quarter of the world’s total. Fatal cases in America number 549,411, 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-five percent of Americans have been given at least one shot of a vaccine, and 14% have been fully vaccinated. A total of 164,300,795 doses have been delivered in the United States. From these, 128,217,029 shots have been given, so 78% of doses have been used.
The state that has done the worst job getting its residents vaccinated is Georgia. Only 19% of its residents have received one dose, and just 11% are fully vaccinated. Georgia has had 4,820,525 doses delivered and 3,281,102 shots were given, a very low 68%.
In stark contrast to Georgia, the state with the best vaccination record is New Mexico, where 33% of residents have been given one dose and 20% have been fully vaccinated.
Why are the Georgia vaccination figures so poor? According to the Associated Press:
Sarah McCool, a professor in public health at Georgia State University, said Georgia was slow to open a mass vaccination site in the Atlanta area. In addition to getting the vaccine in more arms, a centralized site could have eased confusion about where to get inoculated, which also hampered the state’s rollout, she said.
The comment will give no comfort to those anxious to receive the vaccine.