While vaccine controversy continues, FL is at the cusp of 60 percent of residents fully vaccinated

By: - October 22, 2021 5:15 pm

Pfizer COVID vaccine. Source: Screenshot/YouTube

UPDATE: As of Sunday, the CDC data shows that only 16 states in the nation and the District of Columbia have reached at least the 60 percent mark, including four states that have made it to 70 percent — Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine, which are smaller states.

Florida is now at 59.4 percent for residents fully vaccinated, according to the CDC data. Of the largest states, New York has 66.1 percent of residents vaccinated, and California, 60.8 percent.

While controversy continues over vaccine mandates and vaccine effectiveness, Floridians are still getting shots and the state is closing in on a target of at least 60 percent of residents fully vaccinated.

Only 15 states in the nation and the District of Columbia have reached at least the 60 percent mark,  including three states that have made it to 70 percent — Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island,  which are smaller states.

Florida is at 59 percent for residents fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of the largest states, New York has 65.8 percent of residents vaccinated, and California, 60.5 percent.

The states getting the closest to the 60 percent mark are Delaware, Hawaii, Minnesota and Florida. (Update: Pennsylvania is now at the 60 percent mark.)

Florida is already above the national average of 57.4 (updated).

The other states are below 60 percent, and at least 15 (updated: 14) states are below even the 50 percent mark, including Southern states such as Mississippi, Alabama. West Virginia has the lowest percent, 40.9, (updated, 41) of fully vaccinated residents.

Dr. Joseph Ladapo is shown with Gov. Ron DeSantis on Sept. 21, 2021. Credit: Michael Moline

Meanwhile, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo spoke at DeSantis’  Thursday news conference about the effectiveness of vaccines and  “breakthrough” COVID cases that come after people have already gotten vaccine shots.

Ladapo believes the breakthrough cases are common — not rare. He also expressed concerns about adverse reactions to vaccines and said, “We’re going to learn more about the safety of these vaccines.”

He added, “This idea that we are foolish for not believing people who are telling us things that we don’t have data for right now, is ridiculous.”

Here’s what the CDC says:

“COVID-19 vaccines are effective and are a critical tool to bring the pandemic under control; however, no vaccine is 100 percent effective at preventing illness. Some fully vaccinated people will get sick, and some will even be hospitalized or die from COVID-19. However, there is evidence that vaccination may make illness less severe for those who are vaccinated and still get sick. The risk of infection, hospitalization, and death are all much lower in vaccinated people compared to unvaccinated.”

Here is the list of vaccination rates for each state and the District of Columbia, from CDC data on Friday:

State Percent of Total Pop Fully Vaccinated by State of Residence
Vermont 70.7
Connecticut 70.1
Rhode Island 70.1
Maine 69.9
Massachusetts 69.1
New Jersey 65.8
New York State 65.8
Maryland 65.6
New Mexico 64.5
Washington 62.8
New Hampshire 62.5
Oregon 62.3
Virginia 62.3
District of Columbia 61.7
Colorado 60.9
California 60.5
Pennsylvania 59.8
Delaware 59.3
Hawaii 59.3
Minnesota 59.3
Florida 59
Wisconsin 57.8
Nebraska 55.8
Iowa 55.1
Illinois 54.4
Kentucky 54.2
Michigan 53
Utah 52.8
Texas 52.7
Kansas 52.6
Arizona 52.5
Nevada 52.2
Alaska 52.1
North Carolina 52
South Dakota 52
Ohio 51.4
Montana 49.9
Indiana 49.4
South Carolina 49.3
Missouri 49.2
Oklahoma 49.2
Georgia 47.2
Arkansas 47.1
Tennessee 47.1
Louisiana 46.9
North Dakota 45.6
Mississippi 45.1
Alabama 44.2
Wyoming 43.3
Idaho 43.1
West Virginia 40.9



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Diane Rado
Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.