70 percent of Covid shots in the US have not been administered - these states have lowest vaccination rate

A nurse prepares a syringe with the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine for a worker of the New York City Fire Department Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (REUTERS)
A nurse prepares a syringe with the COVID-19 Moderna vaccine for a worker of the New York City Fire Department Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (REUTERS)

Over 70 per cent of Covid shots distributed have not yet been used, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Over 17 million doses have been sent out but only just under 5 million doses have been used, meaning that over 12 million doses have been sent out but not injected.

The data from the CDC covering how many doses have been sent out and how many people have received their first doses includes both the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines.

The CDC said that the large gap in numbers was expected at this time in the vaccination process because of "delays in reporting of administered doses and management of available vaccine stocks by jurisdictions and federal pharmacy partners".

The CDC also said that numbers may be delayed because healthcare providers report doses to "federal, state, territorial, and local agencies up to 72 hours after administration" and then there may be an additional lag in the data as those institutions report their numbers to the CDC.

South Dakota has the biggest per capita rate of people who have received their first dose at 3,231 per 100,000 residents, at a total of 28,581 people who have got their first shot. West Virginia is not far behind at 3,162 per 100,000 residents with a total of 56,664.

In New York, hospitals must now use a dose within a week of getting it or risk facing a fine and a reduction in supplies as Governor Andrew Cuomo pushes his state to vaccinate their residents faster.

“I don’t want the vaccine in a fridge or a freezer, I want it in somebody’s arm. If you’re not performing this function, it does raise questions about the operating efficiency of the hospital," Mr Cuomo said as reported by Reuters.

New York hospitals have so far used less than half of their doses.

Six states have so far inoculated fewer than 1,000 people per 100,000 residents. Michigan, Arizona, Mississipi, Alabama, and Georgia are all on the list, but last is Kansas, where so far only 692 people per 100,000 residents have received their first dose, according to the CDC data.

The total number of people in Kansas who have got their first dose is 20,158.

Florida is another state where the Governor has threatened hospitals with penalties unless they speed up the process.

“I want to be very clear on one important point, hospitals that do not do a good job of getting the vaccine out will have their allocations transferred to hospitals that are doing a good job and getting the vaccine out. We do not want the vaccine to just be idle at some hospital system,” Governor Ron DeSantis said as reported by local TV-station CBS12.

In an interview with The New York Times, Dr Anthony Fauci said that he believed somewhere between 70 and 90 per cent of Americans needed to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.

The United States is closing in on 21 million cases of Covid-19.

354,000 Americans have died from the disease so far.

Around the world, almost 86 million Covid cases have been recorded, and nearly 1.9 million deaths.

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