Which States are Hitting the COVID-19 Vaccine Tipping Point?

As of April 19, COVID-19 vaccine eligibility opened up to adults in all states, leaving many to wonder when supply will surpass vaccine demand. A recent brief examined when COVID-19 vaccine supply might outstrip demand in the U.S. nationally, estimating that the U.S. will reach this point within a few weeks. A new brief examines the state by state differences in cumulative vaccine coverage and daily uptake to better understand how the share of the population may ultimately vary across the country.

By looking at the share of adults with at least one vaccine dose by state, daily rates of first doses administered (using a 7-day rolling average), and how this rate has changed in the last week, the brief finds that as of April 29:

  • 55% of adults received at least one vaccine dose, with a low of 41% in Alabama and a high of 74% in New Hampshire. A decline in the pace of uptake was found in most states.
  • 12 states have reached 60% or more of adults having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 8 of these states in the Northeast. 13 states have reached less than 50% of adults, (including 6 that below 45%), with 9 of these states in the South.
  • Most states are seeing declines in the rate of first dose, although at varying rates, hinting that the country overall is reaching a tipping point with the supply exceeding demand.
  • States with both low vaccination coverage and slow daily rates of vaccine uptake are of particular concern. For instance, in 3 states (Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi), vaccination coverage is at or below 42%, the lowest in the nation, and each is vaccinating at about half the daily rate of the U.S. overall. These states are potentially the greatest distance from reaching sufficient levels of vaccine coverage to lower risk of future outbreaks.

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