A slim majority of American adults have now received at least one coronavirus vaccine shot, but vaccination rates vary widely across the country, with some states managing to get vaccines to over 60% of their adult residents while others lag due to policy differences and hesitancy to get immunized.
New Hampshire has the nation’s highest vaccination rate, giving at least one shot to 71.9% of adults, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data released Saturday, a feat the small state has linked to its network of state-run vaccine clinics.
Three other New England states are following closely behind in the vaccination race: Connecticut (64.4%), Massachusetts (64.2%) and Maine (63.1%).
New Mexico became the first state to cross the 50% line earlier this month, and it’s now tied for fourth place, with a 63.1% adult vaccination rate.
Four other states have reached more than six in 10 adults: New Jersey (62.1%), Vermont (61.6%), Hawaii (61.5%) and Rhode Island (60.2%).
Some states are lagging behind: Mississippi is the least vaccinated state in the country, at just 39.2%, followed by Alabama (40.2%) and Louisiana (41.1%).
53.1%. That’s the percentage of adults nationwide who have received at least one vaccine dose, while 35.9% are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve either received two shots of Moderna or Pfizer’s vaccine or one shot of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine.
All 50 states have dramatically sped up vaccinations in recent months. Drugmakers have ramped up their output, more clinics have opened, and all states have dropped their eligibility rules and made shots available to all adults who want them. However, vaccination rates still vary due to regional quirks and differing strategies. Some states like Connecticut and New Hampshire have attributed their success to mass-vaccination sites or tight partnerships with local health providers, allowing them to quickly use up virtually all shots allotted by the federal government instead of letting doses languish in storage. Plus, in states with large Native American populations like New Mexico, federal agencies have sped up the vaccination process by bypassing state governments and sending doses directly to tribes. And vaccine hesitancy varies by state: 30% of Mississippians told pollsters this month they’re unwilling to get vaccinated, compared to just 11% of people from Massachusetts and Hawaii.
Vaccinations have slowed somewhat in recent days. The average number of doses administered per day dropped from 3.3 million early last week to just over 2.8 million on Saturday. This dip is partly because Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine was temporarily taken out of circulation last week so officials could review rare instances of blood clots, though regulators recommended ending this pause Friday.
What To Watch For
More slowdowns. Most Americans who eagerly want to get vaccinated have already done so, meaning demand for shots is expected to wane over the next few weeks. Some mass vaccination sites have already shuttered due to a dip in demand, and state officials say fewer appointments are being booked. For public health experts, the next challenge is convincing skeptical Americans the vaccines are safe and effective.
“I think folks are going to keep trickling in and getting the vaccine for the first time all through the summer potentially, but obviously not at the high rate we’re seeing right now,” New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) told reporters Thursday.