A new analysis of federal data has revealed that in the ten states with the lowest coronavirus vaccination rates—in which less than forty-one percent of their residents have been fully vaccinated—hospitalization rates were seen to be four times higher and deaths rates five and a half times higher when compared to the ten states with the largest percentage of residents inoculated.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suggested that roughly ninety-three percent of the entire U.S. population lives in an area with high coronavirus transmission rates.
“We continue to see a rise in cases driven by the more transmissible Delta variant with cases concentrated in communities with lower vaccination rates,” White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said Wednesday during a virtual COVID-19 briefing.
“So, this remains a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” he added.
According to CNN’s analysis, it found that the ten states with the lowest vaccination rates are Alabama, Mississippi, Wyoming, Idaho, Louisiana, Arkansas, West Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, and North Dakota. The states with the highest rates are Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Washington, and New York.
Disparity in Deaths
Recent data compiled by Johns Hopkins University are indicating that in the lowest vaccinated states, there is an average of about thirty-four deaths per one million residents, while the figure drops to six deaths per one million for the highest vaccinated states.
“In areas with low vaccination coverage, we continue to hear far too many heartbreaking stories of people who did not get vaccinated—only then to get severe COVID-19,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a news conference.
“In these areas, the data are showing us that the more people who are in the hospital, and tragically, more people are dying of COVID-19,” she continued.
Delta Variant Concern
The Delta variant, first detected by scientists in India last fall, already has spread to more than one hundred forty countries. After being identified in the United States just a few months ago, the highly transmissible variant is now responsible for more than ninety percent of all sequenced cases, according to the CDC.
The agency added that the United States is currently witnessing nearly a hundred forty thousand new cases per day, which is more than eleven times higher compared to just two months ago. As of Tuesday, nearly ninety thousand coronavirus-infected patients were being treated in hospitals across the United States.
In response to the variant, top U.S. health officials have announced that the United States will begin widely distributing coronavirus booster shots next month as new data are suggesting that vaccine protection diminishes over time.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.