As JUCM News readers know, national COVID-19 vaccination rates are hovering just below 50%—progress, to be sure, but a figure indicating that we have a long way to go. It’s essential to bear in mind, however, as we head toward summer vacation season, that a national “average” encompasses states with the highest vaccination rates and those where too many people remain unvaccinated. The Associated Press just published an article noting that the percentage of vaccinated residents—and, therefore, the general safety of a region in regard to COVID-19—varies wildly across the country. According to the AP, one of the largest vaccination centers in Alabama—where less than one third of adults are fully vaccinated—just shut down because too much of its supply was going unused. In Vermont, conversely, 64% of adult residents are fully vaccinated. Other states that can claim greater-than 54% vaccination include Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico. The “bottom” 10 includes, in addition to Alabama, includes Mississippi, Louisiana, Wyoming, Idaho, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, West Virginia, and South Carolina. All have less than 40% of adult residents vaccinated. Patients traveling to these areas should be aware so they can make informed decisions regarding public events, masks, and social distancing.

National Vaccination Rates Can Be Misleading—Especially for Those Traveling Across the U.S.