COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Tracker: Week of April 12

Editor's note: Below you'll find release of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Tracker originally published April 13, 2021. Visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Tracker homepage for the latest data.

In the world of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, hard work is paying off at the state level. As of Monday, April 12, Verywell calculates 23 states are on track to have enough doses to fully vaccinate their populations by the end of May. This time last week, only nine states were on track to hit this milestone, initially proposed by President Biden in March.

This progress is partly the result of steady federal improvement. The government delivered 30 million vaccines to the states this past week, a slight increase from the week prior. Roughly 3.2 million vaccines are being administered per day, meaning that 80% of available vaccines are making it into arms for the second week in a row. 

Almost a quarter of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Progress In Spite of a J&J Fumble

The strong forecast for state-level supply comes at a time when one of the three vaccine brands available to Americans has hit a series of setbacks. As of April 13, the FDA and CDC are calling for a pause in the usage of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six reports of extremely rare blood clots in the brain, one of which was fatal. An investigation is underway.

Prior to the blood clot news, the single-dose vaccine faced other challenges. Material for 15 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine recently had to be destroyed because of a manufacturing error at a Baltimore, Maryland, contractor site. And while specific reasons why are unclear, this week, allocations of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will plummet by 80% in the U.S., according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This suggests that, even accounting for mistakes and setbacks, the U.S. is secure in its COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

How Are We Tracking Towards Herd Immunity?

If vaccination patterns from the last seven days hold, 16 states will fully immunize 70% of their populations in June. And the country as a whole will hit that threshold sometime during the month of July. That means we’re on track for a semblance of normalcy by the 4th of July, as Biden pledged in a March speech.

Why 70%?

While there’s still no clear percentage of the population necessary to reach herd immunity for COVID-19, 70% is a good place to start. Herd immunity refers to the protectiveness achieved when a significant portion of a population develops immunity to an infectious disease, either through vaccination or having a prior illness. Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, used to say 60% to 70% of the population needed to be vaccinated or recovered to reach herd immunity, his projection has evolved to range from 70% to 90%.

Herd immunity is a complex calculation that relies on both past infections and number of people vaccinated. Because the World Health Organization emphasizes herd immunity should rely on vaccination and not disease exposure, for the sake of projections, our numbers focus on the time it will take to hit 70% through vaccination alone.

One state, however, is ahead of this timeline. Based on the number of vaccines administered in the last seven days, New Hampshire is on track to fully immunize 70% of its population in May. The state, which saw success after shifting to a centralized vaccine registration system at the end of January, is the first to administer at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to over 50% of its population. It is currently administering 97.5% of available doses—over 17 percentage points higher than the national average.

Still, the state has not quite caught up to front runners like Alaska, New Mexico, or the Dakotas when it comes to administering the full vaccine regimen to its adult population, and demand for future appointments is starting to slow. As a result, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu says starting April 19, non-residents of the state will be able register for a COVID-19 vaccine in New Hampshire too.

Data by Amanda Morelli/Adrian Nesta

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  1. The White House. Remarks by President Biden on the anniversary of the COVID-19 shutdown. March 11, 2020.

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Weekly Janssen Allocations. Updated April 8, 2021.

  3. World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Herd immunity, lockdowns and COVID-19. December 31, 2020.

  4. Fam A. N.H. to allow vaccines for non-residents starting April 19. WBUR. April 9, 2021.