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The rate of new Covid-19 vaccinations in rural counties fell for the fifth consecutive week last week.

Rural counties reported 144,000 newly completed vaccinations last week, November 12-18. That’s a decline of 9% from two weeks ago.

Newly completed vaccinations in metropolitan counties declined even more sharply, dropping by more than 25% to about 890,000 new vaccinations. It was the first time newly completed vaccinations in metro counties fell under 1 million residents since the widespread rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations began this spring.

The rural vaccination rate grew by 0.3 percentage points last week. That brings the rural rate to 45.2%, or about 20.7 million of rural America’s 46 million residents. The metropolitan vaccination rate of 57.3% is 12.2 percentage points higher than the rural rate.

  • About a quarter of the nation's 1,976 rural counties reported more vaccinations last week than two weeks ago.
  • Illinois reported the largest one-week increase in the percentage of rural population that is completely vaccinated. But the increase of 1.7% of the rural population is likely related in part to backlogged reports or other administrative changes. Two weeks ago the state reported an increase of 0.5% of the rural population.
  • Massachusetts, which already had the highest rural vaccination rate in the U.S., added another 0.8% of its rural population to the vaccinated rolls last week. The state completed 767 additional rural vaccination last week, but small numbers make big percentage-point differences in Massachusetts because the state has fewer than 100,000 rural residents. Those rural counties include the islands of Martha’s Vineyard (Dukes County) and Nantucket, plus Franklin County in western Massachusetts.
  • The next five states with the biggest percentage-point gains in rural vaccinations were all in the West. Those states were Texas, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana.  South Dakota was also in the top 10 nationally for percentage-point gain in rural vaccinations. (Click on the maps below to see information on state gains in rural vaccinations, as well as cumulative vaccination rates.)
  • After several weeks as the state with the slowest growth in rural vaccinations, West Virginia moved to the middle of the pack with a 0.3 percentage point increase in rural vaccinations. The state remains near the bottom of the list in cumulative rural vaccinations and ranks last in its statewide vaccination rate of 41.5% of the population.
  • Georgia had the least vaccinated rural population in the U.S., at 22.5%. About 7.4% of the state’s population has been vaccinated but not assigned to a specific county, so the actual rural rate is likely a bit higher.

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