The COVID-19 pandemic crippled much of the American way of life. People stopped traveling. Public places were closed. People did not go to their offices. For the first time in a century, a fatal disease threatened almost everyone in the nation, and deaths have risen over 600,000. As of Friday, 609,265 people had died of COVID-19 in the U.S., accounting for almost 16% of the world’s total. Confirmed cases stood at 33,727,123, about 18% of the world’s number. Although the increases in deaths and new cases have dropped to a fraction of what they were early this year, some parts of the nation continue to fight a rise in infections.
Vaccines have been the most effective means to arrest the growth of the disease. Vaccinations have had the greatest effect in areas that also enforce social distancing and mask-wearing. A total of 321,199,379 doses of vaccine have been given in the U.S. As of Friday, 46% of the U.S. population had been fully vaccinated.
One state lags behind all others in its vaccination rate. Only 29% of the population of Mississippi. The next lowest is neighboring Alabama at 32%. This may not improve much. The Census Household Pulse Survey has a section entitled Likelihood of Receiving a COVID-19 Vaccine. It asks about the “Percentage of adults who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine (but definitely will once available).” Mississippi is near the low end among states. Only 28.2% of residents say they will get the vaccine once it is available. The state with the lowest figure is North Dakota at 23.3%.
It is hard to imagine that as COVID-19 begins to aggressively spread again in some parts of America, largely because of the Delta variant from India, that so many people would say they will not get vaccinated.