In one county in Mississippi, only 22% of the people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, a remarkably low number.
The rate of COVID-19 vaccinations in the United States has slowed considerably. Nationwide, 60% of people 18 years or older are vaccinated. However, millions of people have refused. In some states, as many as half of the residents fall into this category. This is particularly true in some southern states. Only 43% of the people 18 years or older have been fully vaccinated in Mississippi. Other states on the low vaccination list include Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee.
The vaccination problem has been exacerbated by the recent very rapid spread of the Delta variant. This variant spreads more than 50% faster than the version of the disease most prevalent in the United States through 2020 and early 2021. Unvaccinated Americans have been put at additional risk because of this much higher infection rate.
It is easy to forget how terrible the spread of COVID-19 has been in America. The headlines more recently have focused on outbreaks in Brazil, India and Indonesia. However, there have been 34,462,236 confirmed cases in the United States, which is 18% of the global total. Fatal cases in America number 616,040, or about 15% of the world’s total.
When public health officials and the media look at the spread of the disease, they tend to focus on four numbers: cases, deaths, hospitalizations and vaccination rates.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of people fully vaccinated in Smith County, Mississippi, is 21.6%. Among people 65 years old or older, the number is also extremely low at 44.6%.
According to the Census Bureau, Smith County has a population of 15,916. Almost 74% of the population is white, and another 24% is Black. The county is extremely poor. The median household income of $43,105 is about $25,000 below the national figure. The 18.9% poverty rate is close to twice the national figure.