Special Report

This is How Many People Are Refusing the COVID-19 Vaccine in North Dakota

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, several variants of the virus have emerged. Some of the newly circulating variants spread more easily and more quickly than their predecessors, therefore adding a new urgency to vaccine distribution.

The Biden Administration’s ambitious plan to vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of the summer faces multiple challenges — and not all are related to distribution or production. According to a recent survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, 44,970,000 Americans — or 18.0% of the 18 and older population — say they will either probably or definitely not get the vaccination when given the opportunity.

The majority of Americans who are against personally taking the vaccine cite one of three reasons: concern about possible side effects, wanting to wait to see if it is safe, or thinking others would benefit more than themselves from a vaccination. Others cite different reasons.

Nationwide, 19,860,000 people, 8.0% of the eligible population, do not trust the COVID-19 vaccines, and another 8,530,000, or 3.4%, are anti-vaccines in general. Additionally, 17,660,000 American adults, 7.1% of those eligible, will likely refuse a vaccination because they do not trust the government.

In North Dakota, an estimated 125,000 adults, or 22.3% of the eligible population, say they will likely refuse the vaccine. Of all adults in the state, 7.9% will refuse because they do not trust the COVID-19 vaccine specifically, 5.1% because they are against vaccination in general, and 9.7% because they distrust the government.

Despite pockets of resistance, North Dakota is doing a better job at vaccinating its population quickly than most states. So far, 14.7% of North Dakota’s 18 and over population has received both doses of the vaccine, compared to 10.2% of all Americans in the same age group.

Meanwhile, the virus continues to spread. In the last week alone, another 532 North Dakota residents tested positive for the virus. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 99,809 confirmed cases of the virus in the state, and a total of 1,445 residents have died as a result.

All survey data used in this story was published by the Census on Feb. 24, 2021. All data related to COVID-19 infections, fatalities, and vaccinations is current as of Feb. 28, 2021.

State: Share of who will likely refuse vaccination: Pop. currently fully vaccinated: Share of elligable pop.: COVID infections per 100k people:
Alabama 26.9% 308,416 8.3% 10,091
Alaska 23.9% 100,024 19.1% 7,905
Arizona 18.7% 566,500 10.1% 11,389
Arkansas 29.2% 233,135 10.4% 10,698
California 12.1% 2,744,770 9.2% 8,786
Colorado 13.2% 479,662 10.8% 7,505
Connecticut 11.1% 305,226 11.2% 7,836
Delaware 19.4% 75,909 10.1% 8,975
Florida 22.3% 1,787,511 10.5% 8,964
Georgia 25.3% 747,398 9.4% 9,568
Hawaii 15.6% 140,469 13.1% 1,940
Idaho 27.1% 131,312 9.8% 9,756
Illinois 15.4% 834,142 8.7% 9,314
Indiana 23.3% 582,101 11.6% 9,888
Iowa 21.2% 185,255 7.9% 10,656
Kansas 21.8% 199,266 9.3% 10,086
Kentucky 23.8% 351,189 10.5% 9,055
Louisiana 25.2% 385,486 11.2% 9,230
Maine 17.8% 106,444 10.0% 3,335
Maryland 13.7% 485,911 10.6% 6,323
Massachusetts 8.4% 527,811 9.9% 8,420
Michigan 20.1% 846,505 11.1% 6,458
Minnesota 16.6% 468,222 11.0% 8,636
Mississippi 26.5% 216,072 9.9% 9,871
Missouri 26.6% 464,382 10.1% 7,806
Montana 25.0% 93,625 11.4% 9,409
Nebraska 17.9% 161,830 11.4% 10,412
Nevada 17.9% 240,683 10.0% 9,681
New Hampshire 15.4% 96,729 9.0% 5,560
New Jersey 12.1% 696,473 10.3% 8,859
New Mexico 12.9% 244,734 15.4% 8,835
New York 12.3% 1,485,601 10.0% 8,343
North Carolina 20.1% 886,852 11.1% 8,268
North Dakota 22.3% 82,284 14.7% 13,131
Ohio 19.2% 923,721 10.5% 8,276
Oklahoma 26.2% 401,951 13.8% 10,766
Oregon 15.3% 367,112 11.1% 3,696
Pennsylvania 18.4% 868,979 8.9% 7,274
Rhode Island 13.5% 78,482 9.6% 11,881
South Carolina 25.8% 349,123 8.8% 10,165
South Dakota 22.7% 95,767 14.9% 11,316
Tennessee 24.6% 475,312 9.1% 11,448
Texas 19.0% 1,885,470 8.8% 9,212
Utah 17.5% 177,561 7.8% 11,744
Vermont 13.3% 58,041 12.0% 2,427
Virginia 11.5% 737,028 11.4% 6,763
Washington 14.7% 618,834 10.5% 4,509
West Virginia 23.5% 210,642 15.3% 7,302
Wisconsin 20.4% 515,405 11.6% 9,701
Wyoming 32.8% 55,305 12.8% 9,415

These are all the counties in North Dakota where COVID-19 is slowing (and where it’s still getting worse).