Half of U.S. states have fully vaccinated at least 50% of adults, CDC says

Five months after a New York City nurse became the first person in America to get a coronavirus shot, at least 25 states are now reporting that more than half of their adult population has been fully vaccinated — a major milestone in the fight against COVID-19.

Data published Sunday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that Washington, D.C. has also fully vaccinated at least 50% of people 18 or older and that Maine’s 62.9% rate of fully vaccinated adults is the highest in the country. Connecticut and Vermont are right behind Maine in the vaccination race, with 62.8% and 62.7%, respectively.

The other states with more than 60% of fully vaccinated adults are Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In New York, 56% of adults are done with their vaccine doses while New Jersey is a few points ahead, with 59.1%, according to the CDC.

Nationwide, 49.6% of people 18 and older have been fully vaccinated and more than 61% have received at least one shot, the CDC’s latest figures show.

Maryland National Guard Specialist James Truong (left) administers a Moderna coronavirus vaccine at CASA de Maryland's Wheaton Welcome Center on May 21, 2021 in Wheaton, Maryland. (Chip Somodevilla/)

The encouraging numbers come just over five months after ICU nurse Sandra Lindsay became the first person in the country to get an approved coronavirus vaccine. Following a slow rollout in the first few weeks, vaccines are now widely available and officials are struggling to boost the number of people getting their shots.

Despite strong evidence that the currently approved COVID-19 vaccines pose no harm and help protect people against severe illness, many Americans are still reluctant to get inoculated or outright oppose the idea. Meanwhile, several states, including New York, are offering freebies or even the chance to win millions of dollars for people to get a shot.

The states with the lowest rate of fully vaccinated adults are Tennessee, with 39.3%, Arkansas, with 38.9%, Alabama, with 36.7%, and Mississippi, with 34.4%, the CDC data shows.

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But despite some vaccine hesitancy across the country, the impact of vaccines is increasingly clear. Coronavirus infection rates have recently dropped to levels not seen in about a year.

Over the past week, about 180,000 new cases were reported nationwide, compared to more than 1.7 million in the first full week of January. In New York, the number went from nearly 111,700 in the first seven days of the year to about 10,600 statewide last week.

The country’s death toll, which is still the highest in the world, is also trending down. The average number of deaths over the past week dropped to 510, the lowest since April 2020, according to the CDC.

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