In the opening days of President Joe Biden’s administration, he set a goal of having a 70% vaccination rate for eligible people before the Independence Day holiday in the United States. The country ended up falling just short of that goal, reaching 67% by July 4th.
Although the three percentage points aren’t that far off the desired number, they could have been reached or exceeded. The U.S. South has staggering low vaccination statistics, even with the Delta variant surge that happened during the summer.
Alabama had only 34% of its population fully vaccinated by the end of July. Arkansas wasn’t much better at 36%, while Louisiana had its figures at 37%.
The Delta Variant Caused a Surge of Vaccination Requests
When the Delta variant surges through the U.S. South, it became apparent that the most vulnerable people were those who hadn’t been vaccinated.
Over 90% of the registered infections came from those who hadn’t gotten a COVID shot or hadn’t completed their series. The percentage of hospitalizations was even higher.
Getting the word out about how transmissible the Delta variant is compared to the original coronavirus infections helped to push vaccination rates above 100% over the previous month.
When all Americans are accounted for in every age group, about 50% were fully vaccinated by the end of July.
Biden’s goal could have been reached if states like Wyoming, Idaho, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama had hit 50% instead of being under 40%. For now, the best option we have is to wear a mask, stay socially distant, and stay healthy.