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After increasing for five out of the last six weeks, the pace of new vaccinations in rural counties fell last week by about 20%.

The number of new vaccinations in metropolitan counties was down by nearly a third.

About 348,000 rural Americans completed their Covid-19 vaccination last week. That’s down from about 448,000 two weeks ago.

In metropolitan counties, the number of newly completed vaccinations fell from about 3.1 million two weeks ago to about 2.2 last week.

As of September 30, 42.1% of the nation’s rural population was fully vaccinated. In metropolitan counties, 54.0% of the population is fully vaccinated.  The gap between the rural and metropolitan vaccination rates remained steady at about 11.8 percentage points.

The Daily Yonder’s vaccination report covers Friday, September 24, through Thursday, September 30. Our vaccination rates are expressed as a percentage of the total population that has completed its vaccination regimen. Currently, the vaccines are available only to adults and children 12 and older.

Virginia reported that 8.4% of the state’s rural population was newly vaccinated last week. But most of that change was from recategorizing old vaccinations that were previously not allocated to specific counties.

Hawaii, which already ranked third in the nation for its rural vaccination rate, had the second largest gain last week (expressed as a percentage of the rural population). The state raised its rural vaccination rate by 1 percentage point through a combination of new vaccinations and recategorizing unallocated ones from previous weeks.

The South, which lags the rest of the U.S. in vaccinations, had eight additional states on the top 10 list last week: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana.

Data is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state health departments of Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Texas.