As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread and take lives in America at record levels, vaccine distribution becomes more critical by the day. By almost all measures, the effort has lagged badly and threatens to make the spread of the disease even worse.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States have reached 25,374,301, which is a quarter of the world’s total. They continue to rise by 200,000 most days. American fatal cases, about 20% of the world total, hit 423,611 and rise by over 3,000 most days. President Joe Biden recently said fatal cases may top 600,000 before the pandemic is under control.
The first publicly stated goal made by the federal government, under the Trump administration, was that 20 million doses would be given by the end of 2020. The number of shots given has just passed that mark to slightly above 21.8 million — almost a month late. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 41.4 million doses have been delivered, so only half of these have made it to American arms. Another measure of the effectiveness of distribution is what percentage of the U.S. population has been given at least a single shot. That number continues to be small nationwide, at only 5.6%.
The plan by the Biden administration to give 100 million doses in his first 100 days in offices has been threatened already by vaccine shortages. In several states, particularly New York, governors say they have no vaccine left, even for frontline workers.
The state that has done the worst in vaccinating its population is Missouri at 4.0%. By contrast, Alaska has the best figure at 10.7%. Additionally, Missouri has had just above 644,000 doses delivered and has given a total of almost 317,000.
The only silver lining for Missouri is that it is well down the list of confirmed cases, based on those per 100,000 people averaged over the past seven days. At 32, it is near the bottom, well under the worst state, which is Arizona at 96. Its rate of deaths by the same measure is 0.72, which puts it in the middle among all states, well below the state with the worst level. That is Arizona at 2.23.
Missouri is in a race, along with the rest of the county, to halt the spread of the disease. Unfortunately, its efforts have yielded the worst results in America.
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