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Nineteen states – including several with rising rates of new Covid-19 infections – saw gains in the pace of rural vaccinations last week.

Increases in vaccination numbers in states like Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana confirm anecdotal evidence that rising infection rates in those states are creating renewed interest in vaccinations.

  • Kansas, which is seeing a rise in cases along its border with hard-hit Missouri, had a 57% increase in new rural vaccinations last week. The state completed vaccinations for 6,136 rural residents last week, versus 3,902 two weeks ago, according to a Daily Yonder analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Arkansas, which had the nation’s highest rate of new infections in rural counties two weeks ago, vaccinated an additional 6,043 rural residents last week. That’s 41% more than two weeks ago.
  • Texas, where rural hotspot counties more than doubled recently, vaccinated 12,856 additional rural residents last week. That’s a 24% increase from two weeks ago.
  • In Missouri and Louisiana, two states with rapidly rising infection rates, the gains were smaller but reversed a months-long decline in new vaccinations. Missouri completed vaccinations for an additional 7,069 rural residents, an increase of 10% from two weeks ago. Louisiana increased its new vaccinations of rural residents by 11% to 2,856 last week.
  • Nationally, an additional 150,205 rural residents completed Covid-19 vaccinations last week. That brings the percentage of the total rural population that has completed vaccination to 36.2%, an increase of about 0.3 percentage points from two weeks ago.

The graph below compares the metropolitan vaccination rate to the rural vaccination rate. The percent of the population completely vaccinated has been growing at a faster pace in metropolitan areas, which has created a gap in rates between urban and rural areas. Last week, the gap widened by 0.1 percentage points. That ties for the smallest increase since the Daily Yonder started tracking the gap in mid-April. (A decline in the gap the week of June 7 was the result of a change in data collection methods.)

New England states continued to have the highest cumulative rates of rural vaccinations, followed by Hawaii, Arizona, Maryland, Alaska, and New York.

This week's vaccination report is based on CDC data and reports from the Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Texas state health departments. The report covers Friday, July 23, through Thursday, July 29.

Unallocated vaccinations are not assigned to a specific county, so they are not part of the rural/metropolitan analysis. Unallocated vaccinations are included in the statewide rate.

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