“It is not going to do us no good if everybody doesn’t get the shot, don’t be scared, just take it,” one Floridian told NewsNation, as he received his vaccine.
So far, nearly 35 million people, or about 10% of the U.S. population, have been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, when it comes to getting a vaccine into the arms of every person, some states have been more effective than others. States vaccinating people the fastest per capita are Alaska, New Mexico, Hawaii, West Virginia and South Dakota.
NewsNation reporter Tom Hanson from affiliate KELOLAND in South Dakota said the process there has been organized.
Hanson explained why the Mount Rushmore state has been doing so well with the vaccine.
“They’ve been doing it in groups, like they have in other states. I think it’s just a matter that a lot of vaccine is available here. Really it has to do with, I think, the fact that we have three major hospital systems all working together,” Hanson said.
Sanford Imagenetics in the state’s largest city — Sioux Falls, just administered its 50,000 doses of the vaccine, and Sanford Health said, so far, it’s administered about 80,000 doses at Sanford facilities across the region KELOLAND News reported.
In New Mexico – the quick vaccine rollout is partly thanks to a user-friendly website the state rolled out early on, according to NewsNation reporter Chris McKee from affiliate KRQE.
“Within not even two weeks, the state was pumping up this portal and putting everybody in the same place to say ‘hey, if you want a vaccine, go here, put in all your information,'” McKee explained.
There are also states falling well behind the national average: Utah, Tennessee, California, Texas, and Georgia are the slowest at vaccinating people.
In Atlanta, NewsNation reporter Archith Seshadri says the situation is slowly improving.
“Over the last few weeks, they’ve definitely stepped up the vaccine rollout here. So maybe a slower start, but certainly ramping up now. They’ve added those nine major vaccination sites,” Seshadri said.
New vaccination sites have also been added in Texas. NewsNation affiliate KXAN reporter Avery Travis — in Austin — said the problem is partly to blame on mother nature.
“I think a couple of things happened. Obviously, the whole nation watched as we suffered a really devastating winter storm that halted the vaccination process in its tracks,” Travis said. “Our officials have continued to tell us it all depends on supply and they’re just getting the supply they need.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday another issue impacting vaccination numbers is the timeframe in which they are reported. Most vaccination sites are told they have to report the numbers to state health departments within 24 hours but often times that does not happen for 72 hours.