About a third of all Americans are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, but health experts caution reaching the crucial 70% to 90% threshold will be much tougher as certain portions of the American public, namely Republicans, shy away from the shot—a fact borne out by data showing most of the least vaccinated states voted for former President Donald Trump in 2020.

Key Facts

Alabama and Mississippi—two of the poorest states in the country—rank dead last in percent of fully vaccinated residents, at 24.1% and 24.3%, respectively.

The next states with the lowest totals are Utah (25%), Tennessee (25.5%) and Georgia (25.7%), followed by Arkansas (26.4%) and Louisiana (26.9%).

Indiana, Idaho and Texas are next, each of which has vaccinated 28% of their populations.

Nine out of the ten least vaccinated states voted for Trump in 2020, with the exception being Georgia, which narrowly went to President Joe Biden.

Maine (41.5%), Connecticut (40.6%), Vermont (39.9%) and New Mexico (39%) have vaccinated the most residents of any state in the country.

 

Nine of the ten most vaccinated states went to Biden in 2020, with the holdout being South Dakota, which ranks seventh in full vaccinations.

Big Number

70% to 90%. That’s the percentage of residents who must gain immunity to the virus for herd immunity—the moment when enough of a population is immune to the virus that “indirect protection” is provided—to be reached, health experts say.

What To Watch For

With the rate of vaccinations slowing and more contagious variants of the virus popping up, some scientists are doubtful the U.S. will ever reach herd immunity. Instead, the U.S. may have to pivot its strategy to getting to the point where Covid-19 can be treated as a lower-level threat. “The virus is unlikely to go away,” Rustom Antia, an evolutionary biologist at Emory University, told the New York Times. “But we want to do all we can to check that it’s likely to become a mild infection.” When the pandemic began, some health experts said the U.S. would reach herd immunity when 60% to 70% of the population was immune. Scientists have now been forced to up their projections as more explosive variants have emerged.

Key Background

About a quarter of Americans remain against getting inoculated, a recent survey shows. Republicans continue to show the highest rate of vaccine hesitancy of any major demographic. Out of all races, Black and Hispanic people have the lowest vaccination rates. Biden on Tuesday said his administration will strive to at least partially vaccinate 70% of Americans by July 4. Currently, about 56% of Americans are partially vaccinated. After averaging more than 3 million shots administered per day, the U.S. daily vaccination rate has plummeted to about 2.19 million doses on average. Louisiana, North Dakota, Missouri, Kansas and Ohio are currently experiencing the steepest drops in daily vaccinations.

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