(NEXSTAR) – In December, it will be one year since the first COVID vaccine was administered in the U.S. It’s time to do a progress report.
While many health experts are moving away from the idea of herd immunity, vaccinating against COVID-19 is still the best way to protect people from the virus, they say – especially when it comes to serious and deadly cases. How well are we doing at vaccinating people?
Below is the percentage of each state’s population that is 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 the South have some of the lowest vaccination rates. West Virginia has the lowest rate of all 50 states, with just 41% of its 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 rounded each number to the nearest percentage point.
Note that even if everyone who is eligible to receive a vaccine did so, the numbers in every state still wouldn’t be 100%. That’s because there is no coronavirus vaccine approved for children under 5 years old, so they can’t be vaccinated yet. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates about 6% of people in the country are under 5.
With the Pfizer vaccine’s emergency use authorization just recently expanding to children ages 5 to 11, we may see some jumps in states’ vaccination rates in the coming weeks.