COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Tracker: Week of March 15

Editor's note: Below you'll find release of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Tracker originally published March 16, 2021. Visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Tracker homepage for the latest data.

One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans have been promised a light at the end of the tunnel. In a speech on March 11, President Biden announced any adult who wants a COVID-19 vaccine will be eligible to receive one on May 1.

Are states actually on track to have the vaccine supply to support this? Not at the moment. Nationally, vaccine distribution remains on par with previous weeks—roughly 20 million doses were delivered by the government for the second week in a row, and states once again administered just under 80% of those doses. 

Accordingly, based on the last week of progress, only Alaska is on track with Biden’s stated plan “to have enough vaccine supply for all adults in America by the end of May.” (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.) But more doses from all three FDA-authorized vaccine manufacturers should be made available in the coming weeks.

What About Fourth of July?

In his speech, Biden also said we can expect some semblance of a return to normal by July 4th.

The new “normal,” of course, relies on a meaningful percentage of the population being fully immunized. Based on trends from the last seven days, only five states are on track to fully immunize at least 70% of adults with the full vaccine regimen (either two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, two doses of the Moderna vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) by some point in June.

Does This Mean ‘Phase 1’ of Vaccination is Almost Over?

Once all adults are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, we’ll officially be in Phase 2 of the distribution plan recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Right now, states are working their way through their own individual tiers of Phase 1, which includes healthcare workers, residents of long-term care facilities, older adults, essential workers, and people with high-risk conditions.

Alaska leads the pack with 29.3% of anyone who may be considered Phase 1-eligible vaccinated, and D.C. rounds out the list at 10.2%. If Biden’s plan for May 1 holds true, Phase 2 Americans will likely be getting vaccinated right alongside those originally slated for priority in Phase 1. 

Data by Amanda Morelli/Adrian Nesta

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.