Following COVID-19 Vaccines Across the United States
Posted on by Dr. Francis Collins
Recently, there is a new and very hopeful COVID-19 number for everyone to track: the total number of vaccine doses that have been administered in the United States. If 80 percent of Americans roll up their sleeves in the coming months and accept COVID-19 vaccinations, we can greatly slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in our communities and bring this horrible pandemic to an end in 2021.
So far, more than 20 million people in our country have received one or two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. While this number is lower than initially projected for a variety of logistical reasons, we’re already seeing improvements in the distribution system that has made it possible to get close to 1 million doses administered per day.
If you want to keep track of the vaccine progress in your state over the coming weeks, it’s now pretty easy to do online. A fine resource is the vaccine information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID Data Tracker. It offers an interactive state-by-state map, as well as data on vaccinations in long-term care facilities. Keep in mind that there’s a delay of three to five days in reporting actual vaccinations from the states.
There’s also a lot of useful information on the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center’s Vaccine Tracker. Posting the daily updates is a team, led by William Moss, that draws on the expertise of data scientists, analysts, programmers, and researchers. The Hopkins team gathers its vaccination data from each state’s official dashboard, webpages, press releases, or wherever cumulative numbers are reported. Not all states publish the same vaccine information, and that’s what can make the Vaccine Tracker so challenging to compile.
The Hopkins team now presents on its homepage the top 10 U. S. states and territories to vaccinate fully the highest percentage of their residents. With another click, there’s also a full rundown of vaccine administration by state and territory, plus the District of Columbia. The site also links to lots of other information about COVID-19—including cases, testing, contact tracing, and an interactive tool about vaccine development.
In uncertain times, knowledge can be a source of comfort. That’s what makes these interactive COVID-19 resources so helpful and empowering. They show that, with time, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines will indeed coming to everyone. I hope that you will accept your vaccine, like I did when given the opportunity. However, until we get to the point where most Americans are immunized, we must stay vigilant and keep up our tried-and-true public health measures such as wearing masks, limiting physical interactions (especially indoors), and washing our hands.
COVID-19 Research (NIH)
CDC COVID Data Tracker (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta)
Coronavirus Resource Center (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
William Moss (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore)
International Vaccine Access Center (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore)
When will phase 1c start for the COVID vaccine
The initial CDC vaccination priorities caused confusion. Covid-19 is a matter of life and death to many american, and it was no place for socially inspired priorities. My State has still not started vaccinating people below the age of 75.
It’s not about 80% of the people rolling up their sleeves. It’s about clear age based priority, a real plan, and execution. The “next couple of months” is not a timeline.
There has been no leadership in Government at the Federal or State level. This message does nothing to change it. Let’s blame the people.
Right now its hard to imagine that the problem is vaccine hesitancy. The places that are offering the vaccine are simply overwhelmed with requests for it. To be sure, there were benefits of diversifying the channels by which the vaccine is distributed because this mobilizes many more staff to administer it. But, having many different conflicting and confusing ways to get the vaccine leaves even the best of us in a fog. And the result is that we are hearing of cases where people “share” their access with people who are not in a priority group. County Health Departments are warning people not to jump the line and this by itself will end up discouraging compliance.
The multitude of ways to find the vaccine when there are few doses available to ordinary people [even those over age 75] leaves us breathless. In my own search I found websites that crashed, those that ran out of appointments before I could fill out the form and others that channel the vaccine to their own customers [people who used them in the past] rather than making the vaccine available to all the people in the high risk group.
As well, there are conflicts between different levels of government–county health departments that don’t want to follow state guidelines..state leaders who inform people they are “eligible” to receive vaccine when they should know there is not enough for them. In effect they create demand before it can be met. These organizational issues are likely going to feed “hesitancy” by discouraging people who are not computer savvy from trying to find the vaccine. Its not just a matter of supply–the quantity of vaccine available. Rather there needs to be a deeply felt sense of fairness in the way it is being distributed.
How can we help you?
I am not sure that there is any way in which you can help me personally–unless you know another way to get the shot. But, I do think you can help the situation by working for greater coordination and transparency. And by all means work to encourage vaccine use by making it easy to get vaccinated before you focus on hesitancy. If you encourage people to get the vaccine, but its largely unavailable, it only erodes confidence in your efforts, leads to frustration and in the end discourages vaccination.
Here in Oregon they do not have an organized vaccine roll out. First it was health care workers and then it was supposed to be seniors, but now that has changed to K-12 teachers because they think they can open up the schools that way. I am high risk, asthma and lung issues, but 59 years old. I am worried it will be fall before I can get vaccinated and then whether the vaccine will be less effective because of the virus mutations and the lack of sequencing being done in my state where the testing is also being handled poorly.
Now that some people are getting vaccinated, please provide more guidance on “life after vaccination”. I know we might still spread it so should continue masking, etc.in public. But, how safe is it for vaccinated people to share the air with each other? Are PCR tests accurate once one is vaccinated? I don’t fully understand the study results: I’m statistically likely protected from getting covid, but not 100% Am I MORE protected from serious COVID (as with the flu shot)? Since we don’t yet know how long protection lasts, are additional studies are tracking vaccinated people to see if any get sick, or when the protection appears to start wearing off? I would hope there will be mandated reporting of positive test results or hospitalizations of people who have been fully vaccinated. Thank you for any answers.
I agree with the folks above; it is a lack of organization, rather than a fear of being vaccinated, that is holding up this process. In Wisconsin we have distributed less than half of our vaccines. Instructions are unclear, phone lines are overwhelmed, the local health department is referring us to private healthcare entities who do not respond to the email inquires they solicit. Our dominant political party has plenty of time and money to launch lawsuit after lawsuit blocking CDC recommendations, and when contacted, brag via automatically generated emails about how much they think they’ve done, but at the end of it, the vaccines are not getting distributed. I feel for the civil servants of the health departments; they do respond via phone, and keep a professional and measured tone in the face a government and willfully ignorant population bent on making their jobs impossible. We could know masks, handwashing, and staying home are true, but in the Badger State, we citizens are not trying.
I appreciate the links and forum you have provided. The NIH is my favorite website for reading scholarly articles on health science. Thanks, and keep up the good work!
It’s a very bad time, and covid is the biggest problem in the world. But very soon, this problem will be solved.
I feel we need to find out, very rapidly, how effective the vaccines we are using here in the US are against the variants, particularly the variants fueling the outbreaks in Manaus and parts of South Africa (possibly now in Peru and in some African countries)
Related research would be determining if there is any antibody related enhancement going on, due to either previous infection by the original type, or from any vaccines, used here or anywhere.
I can not find any clear evidence the mRNA vaccines have any efficacy against these types – I understand there is test tubee experiments have made some people hopeful, and BionTecha, Pfizer, and Moderna are already working on the problem, but considering the importance of knowing for sure, isn’t it in the best interest of the US (and Israel, and Canada, and large parts of Europe) to send vaccines to the places still experiencing outbreaks, and do studies there, immediately?
I hope the Director can make a public reply – right now, it seems reasonable to fear the current vaccines will not do much to slow these variants – I note, it appears J&J’s vaccine, while a lot better than nothing, is probably less effective (against the variant now causing an outbreak in South Africa) than the threshold of 50% set when the epidemic began-
I think we need to get people in these hotspots to test our vaccines- or, if there is a better way to accomplish the same goal, please do that, but let us know what is being done.
I think the cdc and the government need to publish the out come on these injections side effects and deaths also the latest study from Stanford University on masks how they are not safe