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US states where it’s easiest, and most difficult, to get a coronavirus shot


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Around 260 million Americans are eligible to receive coronavirus vaccines, but procuring a shot may be easy or difficult, depending on where they live.

US federal officials recommended Tuesday to expand vaccinations to all Americans ages 65 and older. Many states haven’t finished vaccinating their first priority groups, which mainly include healthcare workers and nursing home residents. Some states have also prioritized vaccinations for frontline essential workers or individuals with health problems that raise their risk of severe disease.

Operation Warp Speed, the federal government’s coronavirus vaccine initiative, recently advised states to vaccinate these priority groups in tandem in situations where vaccine supply exceeds demand or doses might expire. Warp Speed officials have also pushed states to begin deploying vaccines at pharmacies, community health centers, and mass vaccination sites.

That’s a daunting challenge for many states with understaffed or underfunded health departments — though an $8.7 billion coronavirus relief package will soon assist states with vaccine distribution issues. States have also struggled to oversee mass vaccinations while simultaneously dealing with an unprecedented surge of coronavirus cases that has overwhelmed hospitals. 

Here are the states where it’s easiest and most difficult to get a shot, based on the number of doses administered per capita.

SEE ALSO: State leaders say Operation Warp Speed overpromised and underdelivered, setting them up to fail in the vaccine rollout

West Virginia leads the country in vaccinations per capita. As of Monday, none of the state’s doses were sitting on shelves.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice told CNBC on Monday that 100% of the state’s vaccine supply was either in people’s arms or had been tagged for a specific individual who would receive the shot in the coming days.

The state has also vaccinated all of its nursing home residents and staff, as well as those in assisted living, Justice said. That’s because West Virginia didn’t rely on a federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens to start vaccinating these individuals on December 21. Instead, it partnered with local pharmacies and deployed its National Guard to get nursing home vaccinations underway about five days earlier.

The state is also offering 14 vaccination clinics this week for individuals 70 and older. The first of these clinics opened on January 7. 

As of Wednesday, West Virginia had administered more than 6,600 doses for every 100,000 people, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

 

 

South Dakota has administered 6,100 doses for every 100,000 people.

Around 4.5% of the state’s population had been vaccinated as of Wednesday. So far, South Dakota has prioritized vaccinations for healthcare workers, nursing home residents, law enforcement, and correctional officers, but the state plans to extend vaccines to residents over 80 starting January 18. From there, it will open up doses to people 65 and older.

Health officials have attributed the state’s successful rollout to strong partnerships with local stakeholders, including three major health systems: Avera, Monument, and Sanford.

“We sat down with the other healthcare systems and the state of South Dakota and mapped out …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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