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The pace of new Covid-19 vaccinations in rural America slowed a bit last week but still exceeded the rate of new vaccinations in mid-July. 

Last week, 172,315 rural residents completed their Covid-19 vaccination. 

Two weeks ago, the number of new vaccinations in rural counties was 260,295, a 70% jump from three weeks ago. The increase came after new infections surged across the United States from the Delta variant of Covid-19.

The current rate of completed vaccinations in rural counties is 37.1% of the total rural population. That’s an increase of 0.4 percentage points from two weeks ago.

Metropolitan counties increased their vaccination rate by 0.5 percentage points last week to 48.5% of the metropolitan population. 

This week’s Daily Yonder vaccination report covers Friday, August 6, to Thursday, August 12. 

  • For the second week in a row, a majority of rural counties (1,024 of 1,976) administered more vaccines last week than they did two weeks ago. 
  • Arizona had the biggest percentage point increase in its overall rural vaccination rate. The state completed vaccinations for an additional 1.6% of the rural population last week, raising its overall rate to 55.3%. 
  • The next highest percentage-point increases in rural vaccination rates were in states hard-hit by the current surge in cases: Arkansas, Missouri, and Louisiana. Although these state’s rural vaccination rates remain low (31.3%, 29.4%, and 28.4% respectively, they climbed at a faster clip than the rest of the U.S. last week. Arkansas vaccinated an additional 0.7% of its rural population last week. Missouri and Louisiana each vaccinated an additional 0.6%.
  • Hawaii also vaccinated an additional 0.6% of its rural population last week.
  • Arizona is one of four states that has a higher rural vaccination rate than metro on (55.3% vs. 44.3%). The others are Massachusetts (68.6% rural, 61.9% metropolitan), Alaska (50.6% rural, 42.6% metropolitan), and New Hampshire (57.7% rural, 53.6% metropolitan).
  • Massachusetts continued to have the highest overall rural vaccination rate. Four out of the top five states with the best rural vaccination rates are in New England (in addition to Massachusetts, these include Connecticut, Maine, and New Hampshire). Hawaii is also in the top five.
  • Georgia, Virginia, and West Virginia had the worst rural vaccination rates, but one reason is that a large percentage of their vaccinations are not assigned to specific counties, meaning they aren’t included in the metro/rural analysis.
  • The next states with the lowest rural vaccination rates are all Alabama (27.7%), Louisiana (28.4%), Missouri (29.4%), Arkansas (31.3%), Tennessee (31.5%), and Florida (32.2%).
  • The rural vaccination rate was 11.4 percentage points lower than the metropolitan rate last week (37.1% vs. 48.5%). The rural-metro vaccination gap grew by 0.1 percentage points last week.

Data for the Daily Yonder’s vaccination analysis comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from the state departments of health of Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Texas.