- The COVID-19 vaccination rate currently stands at 1.25 million Americans per day.
- President Joe Biden believes the U.S. can eventually hit a vaccination rate of 1.5 million per day.
- Johnson & Johnson will release the results from their Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial next week. If the results are positive, the COVID-19 vaccine supply will increase considerably.
After a spectacularly rocky start, the coronavirus vaccination effort in the U.S. is finally starting to pick up steam. According to the most recent data from Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker, 23.5 million Americans have already been vaccinated.
While the figure above is markedly behind initial projections, the good news is that the vaccination rate is on the rise. Over the last week, the U.S. has been vaccinating an average of 1.25 million people per day. What’s more, President Joe Biden thinks we can get the rate up to 1.5 million per day if Congress is willing to provide additional logistical funding.
As the vaccination effort across the country continues to gain momentum, there are some states that are handling vaccine distribution and administration far more efficiently than others. In some cases, this is due to more effective leadership and fewer bureaucratic hurdles. In other cases, states have been able to accelerate vaccine distribution by making it available to a wider range of people.
Take Texas, for example. Whereas most states have only made the vaccine available to healthcare workers, frontline workers, and people over the age of 75, Texas early on made a point to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to anyone over the age of 16 with existing comorbidities like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. This more expansive strategy allowed Texas’ vaccination program to hit the ground running.
Now that we’re about six weeks into the coronavirus vaccination rollout, we have a much better idea as to which states are doing a great job administering it to their respective populations.
As it stands now, there are 10 states which have already administered more than 65% of their vaccine doses on hand, a list that includes North Dakota, West Virginia, New Mexico, South Dakota, South Carolina, Connecticut, Utah, Michigan, and Oklahoma.
The states that have administered less than 52% of their available COVID-19 vaccine supply include Idaho, Mississippi, Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland, California, Rhode Island, Alabama, Virginia, and Kansas.
California is particularly worth paying attention to given that the state has seen its COVID-19 infection rate surge rapidly over the past month. To date, California has received 4.9 million COVID-19 doses and has only administered 2.43 million of them.
The good news, though, is that California is looking for ways to fix the problem.
The Associated Press reports:
Facing widespread criticism for its slow vaccine rollout, California is revamping its delivery system mid-stride by centralizing its hodgepodge of county systems and streamlining appointment sign-up, notification, and eligibility for its 40 million residents.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday named Yolanda Richardson as secretary of the government operations agency that will spearhead operations and delivery, the state announced in advance of a noon news briefing. Richardson will work with private third party administrators, as yet unnamed, to decide where the state’s supply of vaccine should go as the federal supply ramps up to meet demand.
Other states, meanwhile, are also exploring ways to accelerate the vaccine rollout.
If all goes according to plan, everyone in the U.S. who wants a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to get one by spring, according to recent remarks from President Biden.
“It’s going to be a logistical challenge that exceeds anything we’ve ever tried in this country,” Biden said, “but I think we can do that.”
With a population of about 330 million, upwards of 250 million Americans will need to get vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity. If a rate of 1.5 million vaccinations per day is achievable and sustainable, the U.S. could get there by the end of June.