(NEXSTAR) — December marks a year since the first COVID vaccine was administered in the US. Time for a progress report.
While many health experts are moving away from the idea of herd immunity, vaccination against COVID-19 is still the best way to protect people from the virus, they say, especially when it comes to severe and fatal cases. How good are we at vaccinating people?
Below is the percentage of each state’s population that has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The states with the highest percentage of fully vaccinated people are some of the smallest, including Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont. States in the rural West and South have some of the lowest vaccination rates. West Virginia has the lowest rate of all 50 states, with only 41% of the population fully vaccinated.
A person is considered fully vaccinated when they receive two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson.
New Hampshire: 64%
New Jersey: 67%
New Mexico: 63%
New York: 68%
North Carolina: 54%
North Dakota: 48%
Rhode Island: 72%
South Carolina: 51%
South Dakota: 54%
West Virginia: 41%
The vaccination rates above are from the New York Times’ COVID-19 tracking project using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have rounded each number to the nearest percentage point.
Note that even if everyone who qualifies for a vaccine did this, the numbers in each state still wouldn’t be 100%. That’s because no coronavirus vaccine has been approved for children under the age of 5, so they can’t be vaccinated yet. The US Census Bureau estimates that about 6% of people in the country are under the age of 5.
With emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine recently extended to children ages 5 to 11, we may see some jumps in states’ vaccination rates in the coming weeks.