The United States has already vaccinated 75% of its older adults against COVID-19

Mary Lou Russler receives a vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during a community vaccination event in Martinsburg, West Virginia, United States, on March 11, 2021. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque
Mary Lou Russler receives a vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during a community vaccination event in Martinsburg, West Virginia, United States, on March 11, 2021. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque

The United States has put coronavirus vaccines in 75% of the arms of the elderly through Saturday, a massive vaccination rate for one of the groups hardest hit by the pandemic, but several states have gone even further and have immunized more than eight out of ten elderly people, reported Forbes.

About 41 million older Americans – or 75% of that age group – have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, and 54.7% of Americans 65 and older are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Saturday.

Vermont leads the country in vaccinating the elderlyIt has given at least one dose to 88.9% of its elderly residents, in part because the state made it possible for the elderly to receive the vaccine earlier than virtually any other high-risk group.

Connecticut, South Dakota, Maine, and Rhode Island have vaccinated more than 84% of their elders. And Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Delaware, and Iowa have reached more than 80% of older residents.

Hawaii ranks 50th, with 63.7% of its elders vaccinated, even though the state’s overall vaccination rate is slightly above the national average, possibly because Hawaii opened vaccines to those 65 and older a little later than other states. Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi have also vaccinated less than two-thirds of elderly residents.

Bernice Bohannon, who turned 111 on March 11, receives her coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine from nurse Jalissa Hurd at the IU Health Neuroscience Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, on March 16. from 2021. REUTERS / Chris Bergin
Bernice Bohannon, who turned 111 on March 11, receives her coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine from nurse Jalissa Hurd at the IU Health Neuroscience Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, on March 16. from 2021. REUTERS / Chris Bergin

Most states allowed the elderly to receive coronavirus vaccines before the general public, a decision based on their extreme risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from Covid-19. But each state set its own eligibility rules, which resulted in different levels of coverage. For example, Florida allowed everyone 65 and older to enroll in late December, overwhelming some vaccination clinics but making its senior vaccination rate the highest in the country earlier this year, while that other states allowed frontline workers and seniors 75 and older to get vaccinated earlier than younger seniors.

All 50 states will remove their eligibility rules early next month, releasing vaccines for all adults who want them.. This change means that older people – who currently represent nearly 40% of the vaccinated US population – will receive a smaller share of vaccine doses. Still, public health officials hope that many doses will be available: Vaccinations have been accelerating for months, setting a one-day record of nearly 4.1 million vaccines reported on Saturday, and drug manufacturers hope to continue increasing their production.

According to official figures, 429,600 Americans over the age of 65 who have died from Covid-19, accounting for more than 80% of the country’s coronavirus deaths.

The Lumen Field vaccination center in Seattle, Washington, United States, on March 13, 2021. REUTERS
The Lumen Field vaccination center in Seattle, Washington, United States, on March 13, 2021. REUTERS

According to the CDC, in total, 161 million doses were applied in North American territory. These data imply 30% of the population with at least one application and 18% already fully vaccinated.

Confirming the spectacular progress of the vaccination campaign in the United States, President Joe Biden promised last week that 90% of adults could receive vaccines by April 19. The Democratic president’s new goal is for Americans to come together “in small groups” to celebrate the national holiday of July 4.

There are currently three licensed vaccines in the United States: Johnson & Johnson’s (one dose) and the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna alliance (two doses).

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