The number of rural Americans who have completed their Covid-19 vaccinations grew by nearly 300,000 last week, the largest single-week gain since mid-July.
In the past three weeks, the weekly number of new vaccinations of rural residents has climbed by more than two thirds, an indication that concerns about the current spike in new infections are affecting vaccination uptake.
Last week, 292,898 rural residents completed their Covid-19 vaccinations. In late July, only 150,000 new vaccinations were being completed each week in rural counties.
The pace of new vaccinations is also increasing in metropolitan counties.
Currently 38.3% of the total rural population is completely vaccinated against Covid-19. That’s significantly lower than the metropolitan rate of 49.1% of the population. But the gap between the rural and metropolitan rates has been relatively stable for the past month. (See graph.)
This week’s Daily Yonder vaccination report covers Friday, August 20, through Thursday, August 26.
Because vaccination rates are cumulative, the usual suspects remain at the top of the list of states with the highest rural vaccination rates.
Here’s a map of rural vaccination rates, with the darkest colors having the highest rural rates. Massachusetts leads the pack, as it has for months. Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, and New Hampshire round out the top five. A sortable table of states and rates is at the bottom of this article.
To show a different picture of vaccination progress, the next map shows the states that have had the largest percentage increase in the raw number of newly completed vaccinations over the past two weeks. The good news is that 39 of 47 states with rural counties completed more vaccinations last week than they did two weeks ago.
The list of states with the largest increase in weekly vaccinations contains an interesting mix of well and poorly performing states. Missouri, which has the sixth worst rural vaccination rate in the country, increased its new rural vaccinations by 88% last week – the largest percentage point increase in the country. Two weeks ago, Missouri had just under 10,000 newly completed rural vaccinations. Last week, the state completed nearly 19,000 new rural vaccinations. (The state has a 31.2% rural vaccination rate.)
Other poorly performing states that had large percentage increases in new vaccinations last week were Alabama and Oklahoma.
There were also some states with relatively large increases in vaccinations that were already performing above average. New Mexico, where 44.2% of the rural population is fully vaccinated, increased its weekly vaccinations by nearly 75%. And Hawaii, which has the nation’s third highest rural vaccination rate, increased the number of new rural vaccinations by two thirds last week.
Roll over the map to see more data.
And, finally, here's a sortable list of states by vaccinations rates.