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.
Lack of vaccination and the spread of the Delta variant has led to fears that hospitals will begin to overflow with those seriously affected by COVID-19. According to Yahoo! News:
A month ago, the number of COVID-19 patients admitted at two University of Florida hospitals in Jacksonville was down to 14. Now more than 140 people are hospitalized with the virus, a tenfold increase over five weeks — and the highest number of COVID patients this system has seen since the start of the pandemic.
The Florida problem is not an isolated one.
When public health officials and the media look at the spread of the disease, they tend to focus on three numbers–cases, deaths, and hospitalizations. To make comparisons of these from state to state and from county to county they use a “per 100,000” calculation. This allows experts to compare places with small populations to those which are larger in number.
Currently, the state with the highest number of hospitalization per 100,000 residents based on a seven-day average is Nevada. Its figure is 29. This compares to a nationwide average of nine.