Idaho has now administered more than 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, which sounds like a lot.
But statistically speaking, Idaho ranks near the bottom nationally for the percentage of its population that has been fully vaccinated.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show about 26.3 percent of Idahoans have been fully vaccinated, compared to the national average of 29.5 percent, through Wednesday. The CDC says 43 percent of Americans have received at least one dose, while about 33.6 percent of the total population in Idaho has received one dose.
Using data from the CDC, NPR.org made a searchable database that compares the vaccine rollout by state, plus the District of Columbia. As of Wednesday, Idaho ranks 42nd for percentage of total population vaccinated and 48th for percentage of total population with at least one dose.
“I understand that some people are hesitant about taking any vaccine, and I understand that things that are new can be disconcerting,” Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen wrote in a recent blog post. “But if we want to put this global pandemic in the rear-view mirror, choosing to get a COVID-19 vaccine is the most effective way to get our state, and our country, back to normal.”
Idaho climbed to No. 37 for the percentage of adults 18 or older fully vaccinated (34.7 percent) and ranks 26th for percentage of seniors (65 or older) fully vaccinated (68.9 percent), which is slightly ahead of the national average (68.3 percent).
Only individuals at least 16 years of age are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. About 25 percent of Idaho’s population is younger than 18, compared to a national share of 22.3 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This could be a contributing factor to the state’s lower overall vaccination rate. Idaho’s senior population (65 or older) makes up about 16.3 percent of the state’s population, which is in line with the national average of 16.5 percent.
Maine leads the nation with 37.4 percent of its total population fully vaccinated. By comparison, about 18.5 percent of Maine’s population is younger than 18.
When it comes to vaccine distribution, Idaho has administered 75 percent of its total doses, according to the CDC, which ranks 35th. The national average is 78 percent, and New Hampshire has administered the most by percentage, at 91 percent.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare showed 1,036,536 total doses administered in Idaho, with 471,095 people fully vaccinated. Throughout the U.S., nearly 235 million doses have been administered, with 98,044,421 people fully vaccinated as of Wednesday.
In north central Idaho, 37 percent of people 16 and older have received one shot while 31 percent are fully vaccinated.
Based on Idaho’s current rate of vaccination, NPR estimates that half of the state’s population could be fully vaccinated by July 3, 70 percent by Aug. 28 and 85 percent by Oct. 9. Because COVID-19 vaccinations are voluntary, Idaho would reach such high percentages only if vaccinations continue at their current rate, which is unlikely. Health and Welfare announced Tuesday that individuals seeking a vaccine in the state are no longer required to live or work in Idaho, as the state’s supply of vaccines has outpaced demand.
“We know that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death,” Jeppesen wrote. “And, we know that other prevention steps (wearing face coverings, physical distancing, staying home and getting tested if sick, washing hands often) help stop the spread of COVID-19, and that these steps are still important, even as vaccines are being administered throughout Idaho.”