If you’re looking to travel but want to go somewhere where residents have embraced the idea of coronavirus vaccinations, look to the Northeast. Or the Pacific Coast. Or even further west.
President Biden has set a goal of having 70 percent of the nation’s adults vaccinated by the Fourth of July holiday. States in New England, Hawaii, and elsewhere in the West are pushing hard to reach that goal, and several have already passed it.
Vermont is leading the way, with 81.2 percent of residents age 12 or older having gotten at least the first dose of the vaccine, according to data updated daily by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But close behind is Hawaii, where 79.1 percent of residents 12 and older have received at least the first dose.
Rounding out the top 10 are Massachusetts (77.8), Connecticut (74.0), Maine (73.1), New Jersey (72.0), Rhode Island (71.0), Pennsylvania (69.1), New Hampshire (69.0), and New Mexico (68.8). Overall, there are 22 states with at least a 60 percent vaccination rate as of Wednesday, June 9.
As the vaccination rates rise, the success stories follow along. Vermont has gone more than two weeks without a death related to COVID, something that had been happening at a rate of up to 12 per day at points last year.
“It’s an incredible change over such a short period of time,” Dr. Tim Lahey, an infectious disease physician at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, told the Associated Press.
On the other end of the scale, 10 states have yet to reach a 50 percent vaccination rate, all rural states and almost all in the South. Bringing up the rear is Mississippi at just 41.0 percent, followed by Alabama (42.4), Louisiana (43.1), Wyoming (44.6), Idaho (45.6), Tennessee (46.5), Arkansas (47.4), West Virginia (47.6), South Carolina (48.6), and Georgia (48.7).
“If you are in a high vaccination state, your job is not done,” Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health in Providence, Rhode Island, wrote. “Across America, there are too many people and communities for whom vaccines still remain out of reach.”
Traditional summer vacation spots are a mixed bag when it comes to vaccination rates. Hawaii stands head and shoulders above the rest, but California has been quite successful in its vaccination campaign, too. At 68.3 percent, it ranks 12th in the nation, and its trouble spots are more in the Central Valley than in vacation areas along the coastline.
Other states that rely on their beaches to draw visitors aren’t doing as well. Florida sits at 57.9 percent and Texas at 54.5 percent, both in the bottom half of the statistics. And for those looking for fun in Las Vegas, Nevada’s rate is a mediocre 54.8 percent.