Over 30% of American adults are at least partially vaccinated against the coronavirus, but some states have immunized a greater share of their populations than others — here are the 16 states that have surged ahead and put shots into more than a third of their adult residents’ arms:
Dr. Steven Florman prepares doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in Vernon, CA.
New Mexico leads in the vaccination race, with 41.4% of adults receiving at least one dose, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data released Saturday.
Alaska — which had previously led the nation for weeks — is a close second at 39.6%, and South Dakota ranks third at 39.1%.
North Dakota, Connecticut and Rhode Island have also vaccinated at least 35% of their 18-and-over populations as of Saturday morning.
Ten other states have reached at least one third of adults: New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Maine, Minnesota, Hawaii, Vermont, Kentucky, Iowa and New Hampshire.
79.2 million. That’s the number of American adults who have received at least one coronavirus vaccine dose as of Saturday, about 30.7% of the total adult population. Some 16.7% of adults are fully vaccinated, meaning they’ve either received two doses of Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines or one dose of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine.
All 50 states have rapidly sped up vaccinations in recent months, as drugmakers churn out more doses and more immunization sites have been established. But progress has been uneven from state to state. In places with large Indigenous or military populations like Alaska and New Mexico, scores of doses have reached patients through the Pentagon or the federal Indian Health Service, bypassing complicated state-level distribution systems. Other states like South Dakota and Connecticut say they’ve sped up because of strong partnerships with local healthcare providers, and places like Rhode Island and Massachusetts have ramped up distribution by opening mass vaccination sites and broadening eligibility.
A few states lag behind the national average. Alabama, Tennessee and Indiana have vaccinated less than 28% of adults, and Georgia is in last place at just 23.6%. Georgia officials have partly blamed delays in reporting data for the state’s seeming low vaccination rate, but some local experts have also linked Georgia’s performance to a sluggish distribution network that’s left over 500,000 vaccine doses unused.
President Joe Biden has instructed all 50 states to drop their eligibility rules by May 1, opening up vaccine doses to all adults who want them. Several states are promising to open up eligibility before then, led by Alaska, which made every adult eligible last week.
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I am a breaking news reporter at Forbes. I previously covered local news for the Boston Guardian, and I graduated from Tufts University in 2019. You can contact me at