COVID-19: The State With The Biggest Vaccination Problem
As the United States gets hit with mutations of COVID-19 that have entered the country from South Africa, Brazil and the United Kingdom, the race to vaccinate America has become even more essential. Each of these appears to spread more quickly than the strain that has infected Americans for months. And, one of these could be more deadly. The progress of the disease has slowed many places in the U.S. The rise in confirmed cases, hospitalizations, and fatal cases has slowed. However, deaths have reached 484,930 and confirmed cases 27,746,122. The anxiety is that the fatal cases count could still reach 600,000 by the summer.
The rate at which people have been vaccinated state by state varies widely. Across the nation, 69,014,725 doses have been distributed. Of these, 48,410,558 have been given. In total, 11% of Americans have been given at least one dose.
There is an extremely broad spread among the states based on the percentage of their populations that have been given at least one dose. The most successful is Alaska. It has received 271,350 doses and 167,436 have been given. Of its population, 16% have been given at least one dose. Some of the success has been attributed to its military and Native American populations. There are special programs in place to vaccinate these two groups.
At the other end of the spectrum, only 8.7% of Rhode Island’s population has been given at least one does. The state has received 211,850 doses of which 131,913 have been given.
Rhode Island was a hot spot for the disease for several weeks. It is still near the top of the spread rate of the disease among all states with a case rate per 100,000 of 40. Only six states have higher numbers.
Rhode Island has had 120,821 confirmed cases and 2,290 fatal ones.
According to television station WPRI, data from Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center show:
Rhode Island currently ranks in the bottom 10 states nationwide for coronavirus deaths per capita; vaccine doses administered; use of available doses; and speed of getting shots into arms. The school calculated each state’s per-capita metrics based on its adult population, excluding those under 18.
Arresting the spread of disease relies on several things, which include rules about masks, social distancing, and limited public gatherings. Vaccination rates have joined that list. Based on the numbers, Rhode Island is in trouble.
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