The pace of COVID-19 vaccinations in the U.S. has continued dropping, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show.
As of Wednesday, about 632,000 new doses are being administered per day, a figure not seen since late July.
Additionally, under 200,000 Americans are getting their first doses each day – the lowest this number has been since the beginning of the Covid vaccine rollout in December 2020.
States with low vaccination rates – such as Idaho and West Virginia – are facing overwhelmed hospitals, with unvaccinated patients taking up beds and preventing others from receiving care.
The Delta variant drove an increase in vaccinations, but that inoculation bump appears to now be over as case counts drop across the country.
Meanwhile, discussion of booster shots is causing further confusion about the need for vaccination, survey data suggest.
The pace of Covid vaccinations has continued falling in the U.S., with fewer Americans getting their first doses. Pictured: An Israeli woman receives a booster vaccine in Jerusalem, September 2021
An average of 632,000 vaccine doses have been administered each day for the past week
More than three-quarters of American adults have now received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, according to the CDC.
About 77 percent of over-18s have received at least one dose, and two-thirds of adults are fully vaccinated.
Many Americans were motivated to get their shots in August and early September, as the highly-contagious Delta variant swept across the country.
When the variant hit states like Florida, Louisiana and Texas, the vast majority of severe Covid cases and deaths occurred among unvaccinated Americans.
Out of more than 180 million people who have been fully vaccinated, under 15,000 have had a Covid case requiring hospitalization, following their shots – and just 4,500 have died of Covid.
Despite clear evidence that vaccination provides excellent protection against severe Covid, the pace of vaccinations is once again slowing in the U.S. as case numbers drop.
The U.S. is now administering about 632,000 doses a day, according to the CDC.
That’s a drop of about one-third since late August, when the U.S. was administering almost one million doses a day.
The pace of Americans getting their first vaccine doses has dropped even more starkly.
Under 200,000 Americans are now getting their first doses each day.
That’s less than half the first dose rate of four weeks ago. In the month of August, more than 400,000 Americans got their first doses each day – sometimes even approaching 500,000 in one day.
In fact, the U.S. has not reported under 200,000 first doses a day since December 2020, the very first month of the vaccine rollout.
The U.S. is now reporting under 200,000 new first doses a day – the lowest number since December 2020, at the beginning of the vaccine rollout
While the majority of Americans are now vaccinated, some states have much higher vaccination rates – and are thus much more protected against Delta – than others.
Vermont, Connecticut and Maine are at the top of the rankings, with almost 70 percent of their populations fully vaccinated.
Connecticut, one of those well-vaccinated states, recently moved from ‘high transmission’ status to ‘substantial transmission’ status, with under 100 new cases for every 100,000 people in the past week.
It’s the second state to pass this benchmark after California, another highly vaccinated state, did so last week.
On the other side of the vaccination spectrum, just over 40 percent of West Virginia’s population is fully vaccinated.
West Virginia now has over 1,000 Covid patients in hospitals, a record for the state
In Idaho – where just 41 percent of residents are fully vaccinated – hospitalization numbers continue climbing to new records
West Virginia is currently facing packed hospitals, with more than 1,000 Covid patients undergoing treatment across the state.
The Delta surge has been record-breaking for this state – during the peak of the winter surge, it saw about 800 Covid patients in hospitals.
The vast majority of West Virginia Covid patients who require hospital care, intensive care, or ventilators are unvaccinated, the state has reported.
Governor Jim Justice is encouraging residents to get their Covid shots – including booster shots if they’re eligible.
Idaho similarly has a low vaccination rate, with about 41 percent of residents fully vaccinated.
About 800 Covid patients are currently hospitalized in Idaho. The state recently set a Covid hospitalization record for the third week in a row, and admissions don’t appear to be slowing.
In recent weeks, Idaho has instituted ‘crisis standards of care’ for hospitals – allowing healthcare workers to prioritize resources and staff for those patients who may be most likely to survive.
As the pace of vaccination slows, news and information on booster shots is proving confusing for many Americans – especially those who aren’t yet vaccinated.
A recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 71 percent of unvaccinated adults said boosters were a sign that the vaccines do not work as promised.
Booster shots, combined with falling case numbers, may cause some not-yet-vaccinated Americans to see less need for vaccination.
The trend is worrying public health experts, particularly as colder weather brings the start of flu season.