Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images
After a year of grim milestones, Sunday marked a hopeful statistic in America’s fight against the coronavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of all American adults have now gotten at least one vaccine dose.
After months of limited vaccine availability, every adult in the country will eligible to sign up for vaccination on Monday. The only remaining states still with certain adult age restrictions — Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont — will open vaccine registration to all people age 16 and older, meeting a federal deadline for all adults to be eligible set earlier this month.
About 130 million adults have gotten at least one vaccine dose, the CDC reported Sunday. And 84 million, or about a third of all adults, are fully vaccinated. (The CDC considers people “fully vaccinated” if they have received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.) The U.S. has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.
Within the U.S., New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Mexico report the highest percentage of population who have received at least one dose, according to NPR’s vaccination tracker.
Most of the states with the highest vaccination rates have historically voted Democratic in presidential elections, with the exception of South Dakota.
On the flip side, many of the states reporting the lowest rates of people receiving at least one dose of vaccine are traditionally Republican voting.
The vaccination trend is not absolute — it does not hold for the percentage of adults who are fully vaccinated, for example, where Republican Alaska leads.
Still, more than 40% of Republicans say they don’t want to get the vaccine, according to a Monmouth University poll released Wednesday. “Much of this reluctance is really ingrained in partisan identity,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Speaking to CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was frustrated by the partisan divide, which he believes is fueled by comments by Republican leaders like Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who accused Fauci last week of promoting pandemic guidelines that violate Americans’ freedoms.
“It is quite frustrating because the fact that one may not want to get vaccinated, in this case a disturbingly large proportion of Republicans, only actually works against where they want to be,” Fauci told CNN.
“On the one hand, they want to be relieved of the restrictions. But on the other hand, they don’t want to get vaccinated,” Fauci said. “It just almost doesn’t make any sense.”
There’s also been a disparity in vaccinations by gender. Close to 60% of people who have been vaccinated are women, compared to about 40% men, according to Kaiser Health News. “Women are more likely to seek preventive care in general,” reporter Laura Ungar told NPR’s Weekend Edition.
“Also, women are more likely to take on the role of arranging health care for the family,” she said. “So they may be more able to kind of navigate the health system.”