COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Tracker: Week of April 5

Editor's note: Below you'll find release of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Tracker originally published April 6 2021. Visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Tracker homepage for the latest data.

The United States is now vaccinating over 3 million people against COVID-19 every day. And Friday, April 2, brought a new milestone: 4 million doses were reportedly administered. 

For the first time since Verywell started this tracker, the country is using over 80% of the doses available—the most efficient rate we’ve seen yet. Nearly 19% of the population is fully immunized, and over 32% has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine. 

Vaccine Supply Still Isn't Perfect

While we’re headed in the right direction, as of April 5, there are only nine states on track to have enough vaccine supply for all adults in America by the end of May as President Biden pledged. (Note: We interpreted “enough supply” to mean enough vaccines to account for two full doses of Pfizer and Moderna shots, not just the first dose.):

  • Alaska 
  • South Dakota
  • West Virginia 
  • Nebraska
  • Wyoming 
  • Massachusetts
  • Vermont
  • Connecticut 
  • Maine

Federal vaccine allocation is population-based; states are allocated a certain number of vaccines each week based on the number of people 18 and older in proportion to the U.S. population. From there, each state can determine how to distribute the supply based on its own eligibility criteria. But states don’t necessarily have to order their full allocation each week if there’s not the demand to support it.

This helps explain why North Dakota, who has been a frontrunner in terms of vaccine distribution for so long, is not one of the states currently on track for the May deadline. While North Dakota has excelled at vaccine rollout thanks to a sparse population, cooperative healthcare systems, and a centralized vaccine storage system, as of late, the state is facing an uptick in vaccine hesitancy, according to a poll from the Wall Street Journal. People eager to get vaccinated have been vaccinated. Everyone age 16 and older is now eligible, but not everyone wants to get the shot. 

Vaccine Hesitancy Is the Biggest Blocker to Herd Immunity 

Every state has announced a cutoff date for expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all adults. Many states have already thrown open eligibility to everyone over the age of 16 or 18, and the latest date for universal eligibility in a given state is May 1 (Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington, D.C.). 

But just because everyone can sign up in the near future does not mean everybody will. According to Verywell’s vaccine sentiment tracker, people are more inclined to get the vaccine than ever—70% of our survey respondents are now vaccinated or plan to be vaccinated—but 18% still say they won’t get a vaccine and 12% aren’t sure. 

That’s a precarious place to be. While nobody knows exactly what percentage of the population needs to be vaccinated or recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection to achieve herd immunity to the virus, 70% is likely the bare minimum. 

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.

How Long Will It Take States to Vaccinate 70% of Their Populations? 

While infection recovery will play a role, ultimately, America will achieve herd immunity to COVID-19 through vaccination. If vaccination patterns from the last seven days hold, 15 states will fully immunize their populations before the 4th of July. And the country as a whole will hit that threshold sometime during the month of July.

Data by Amanda Morelli/Adrian Nesta

2 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How COVID-19 Vaccines Get to You.

  2. World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Herd immunity, lockdowns and COVID-19.

By Anisa Arsenault
Anisa joined the company in 2018 after managing news surrounding fertility, pregnancy, and parenting for The Bump. Her health and wellness articles have appeared in outlets like Prevention and Metro US. At Verywell, she is responsible for the news program, which includes coverage of COVID-19.