As of 6 a.m. EST February 22, the US states with the best overall vaccination rates for COVID-19 were New Mexico, North Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Washington, Colorado, and Oregon.
- As of 6 a.m EST February 22, 2021, New Mexico had the best overall vaccination rates in the United States.
- The vaccination rate is calculated as a percentage of the number of vaccines administered to the number of vaccines distributed in the state.
- New Mexico has so far administered 99.81% of all the vaccines it has received.
Vaccination Operating Model in New Mexico
- The process of vaccination in New Mexico is being led by the New Mexico Department of Health in partnership with other state agencies, and public, private and tribal partners in the state.
- Currently, the following groups are eligible for vaccination in New Mexico: Hospital personnel, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, medical first responders, congregate setting workers, persons providing direct medical care and other in-person services, home-based health care and hospice workers, people over 75, and people over 16 at risk of COVID complications.
- New Mexicans use an online tool to register with the New Mexico Department of Health and get a notification when a vaccine is available to schedule an appointment.
Why New Mexico’s Vaccination Rates Are High
- According to The New Mexico Department of Health secretary, Dr. Tracie Collins, the state has been able to vaccinate its population extraordinarily quickly because of ” a first-in-the-nation registration system and a dedicated network of health care providers and volunteers across the state.”
- As of 6 a.m EST February 22, 2021, North Dakota had received 198,650 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine doses and administered 196,365 doses.
- This represents a vaccination rate of 98.85%.
Vaccination Operating Model in North Dakota
- In North Dakota, the following priority groups are currently eligible for vaccination: “adults 75 and older; adults of 65 to 74 with two or more high-risk medical conditions; people living or working in group settings, such as group homes and treatment centers; and adults 65 and older, residents and staff of nursing homes and assisted living communities, and healthcare workers; National Guard members and certain essential workers, such as grocery store employees and public transit workers.”
- North Dakota has a COVID-19 Vaccine Locator with data on vaccination centers across the state, updated on a daily basis according to the vaccine inventory.
Why North Dakota’s Vaccination Rates Are High
- According to the North Dakota Department of Health Immunization Director, Molly Howell, the vaccination rates are high because of the following reasons:
- North Dakota has a state warehouse where they divide the vaccine and allocate it quickly across the state, and this has significantly boosted the vaccine distribution.
- North Dakota’s system to keep track of who has been vaccinated also contributes to the high vaccination rates.
- Vaccine enthusiasm among healthcare providers and the general population.
- The state also launched a robust vaccine education program for its healthcare workers before the vaccines were even approved in the US, allowed for immediate vaccination once the doses were available.
- As of 6 a.m EST February 22, 2021, West Virginia had received 481,225 COVID-19 vaccine doses and administered 465,593 doses.
- This represents a vaccination rate of 96.75%.
Vaccination Operating Model in West Virginia
- In West Virginia, people can book their vaccines online using the state’s pre-registration portal.
- Currently, the following groups are eligible for vaccination in West Virginia: “people age 65 and over; health care workers in high-risk settings such as COVID-19 wards, intensive care units and emergency rooms; and teachers and other school workers age 50 and over.”
- People can be vaccinated in vaccination clinics at National Guard armories, schools, community centers and other sites in all the 55 counties in the state. Vaccines are also available in 73 Walgreens stores in West Virginia.
Why West Virginia’s Vaccine Roll Out Has Been Successful
- According to Dr. Christopher Martin, a professor with the West Virginia University School of Public Health, the state created a specific vaccination plan for West Virginia, including leaning more on local independent pharmacies and less on national pharmacy chains during the start of the vaccination.
- Unlike other states that solely relied on websites and online tools for vaccine appointments, West Virginia included a hotline for making appointments. The officials recognized that the state is made up of rural communities, has limited access to broadband connectivity, and one of the state’s oldest population who may not be tech-savvy.