As the United States is hit with mutations of COVID-19 first noted in Brazil, South Africa and the United Kingdom, the race to vaccinate Americans has become even more essential. These variants appear to spread more quickly than the strain that has infected Americans for months, and one of them could be more deadly. The progress of the disease has slowed many places in the United States. The rise in confirmed cases, hospitalizations and fatal cases certainly has slowed. However, coronavirus deaths have reached 479,501 and confirmed cases total 27,649,235, according to the Bing COVID-19 Tracker. The anxiety is that the fatal cases count still could reach 600,000 by the summer.
The rate at which people have been vaccinated varies widely by state. Across the nation, 68,285,575 doses have been distributed. Of these, 46,390,270 have been given. In total, 10% of Americans have received at least one dose.
Kansas is the state that has done the most poorly, as only 8.5% of the population have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
The state with by far the best record is Alaska, where 16% of people have been given at least one dose. Oddly, 270,250 have been delivered and only 162,273 given, for a ratio of 60%, which is below the national average of 68%.
Alaskans have been fortunate in another way. It is the sixth-lowest state based on confirmed cases at 56,252. The fatal case count is 280. Alaska is not divided into counties as is the tradition among most states. Some of the places with the smallest populations are designated “areas” and others “boroughs.” In several of these, confirmed cases number less than 400. In the Lake and Peninsula Borough in the southwest part of the state, there have been only five confirmed cases.
Alaska Public Media, part of PBS, recently reported comments from Dr. Anne Zink, the state’s chief medical officer:
First, she credited Alaska’s communities for working together to get people vaccinated quickly. Second, she said Alaska is getting more doses of the vaccine because of additional allotments for the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Indian Health Service.
Alaska has high veteran and Native American per capita populations.
Based on these anomalies, Alaska’s vaccination rates are likely to stay in the vanguard among all states.
Click here to read “This Is the City in Every State With the Most COVID-19 Cases.”
Click here to read “This Is the County in Every State With the Most COVID-19 Deaths.”
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