SAVANNAH, Georgia (AP) – With coronavirus shots in the arms of nearly half of American adults, the excellent and vaccinated parts of the United States are beginning to resemble a political map of the nation: deeply divided between red and blue states.
Out there is New Hampshire, where 65% of the population aged 18 and older received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Close behind them are New Mexico, Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts, at least 55%. They all voted democratically and supported President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
Meanwhile, at the bottom are five states where less than 40% have executed a finger for a shot. Four of them – Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee – are skinny Republicans and voted for Donald Trump last fall. It is the fifth Georgia to have a Republican governor and has backed GOP presidential candidates for nearly three decades before narrowly supporting Biden.
The Emerging Pattern: Americans in blue states who appear to be lean democrats are more vaccinated, while those in red republican states are more hesitant.
“We can conclude that red states and voters who vote for Trump are harder to vaccinate because we have really good survey data to support that,” said Dr. Howard Forman, professor of public health and management at Yale School of Medicine.
Opinion poll of the Associated Press-NORC Public Affairs Research Center found in late March that 36% of Republicans said they would probably or certainly not vaccinate, compared to 12% of Democrats. Similarly, one-third of rural Americans said they were inclined to take shots, while less than a quarter of people in cities and suburbs share this hesitation.
Forman warned that in most U.S. states, where they receive vaccine shipments based on population, demand for the shot still exceeds supply. So it’s hard to know how many people will resist until everyone wants to get the footage. But if states soon begin to see a significant number of unfilled meetings where many people have not yet been vaccinated, the consequences could be severe.
“We’ve seen significant epidemics for a long time,” Forman said. “It determines whether we return to normal in some cases.”
According to previous AP-NORC polls, more Republicans than Democrats say the government has exaggerated the threat posed by the virus. Republicans were also more opposed to restrictions and wearing masks.
The CDC reports that nearly 121 million U.S. adults — or 47% of the U.S. adult population — received at least one coronavirus shot. California, the nation’s largest blue state, is slightly ahead of this pace by 50%. The largest red state, Texas, lags behind by less than 44%.
How quickly states are vaccinated is not always related to the way they vote.
Deep red South Dakota is one of the most successful states, with 54% of its population receiving injections. Of the blue states, Nevada lags far behind the U.S. with less than 44%, followed by Oregon and Michigan, each with 45%.
New Hampshire, which leads the nation into adult vaccinations, has a Republican governor and GOP-controlled legislation. However, Democrats fill all seats in Congress, and the state has been consistently democratic in all presidential elections since 2008.
West Virginia, where Trump cast 66% of the vote last year, became an early success story in introducing the vaccine as the first U.S. state to cover all nursing homes. But while Republican Governor Jim Justice remains a vaccinator, West Virginia is now lagging behind the U.S. as less than 42% of its population has received at least one dose.
Among those who say they won’t be vaccinated is 58-year-old Martha Brown. In front of his housing estate in Charleston, West Virginia, Brown said he was afraid of a bad reaction after last year’s flu vaccination caused him cold symptoms.
“I’m fine without him,” Brown said. – I wear my mask all the time.
Experts say it’s too early to tell if Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine will be stopped increases reluctance to vaccinate. Government scientists are investigating reports of unusual blood clots in six vaccinated women.
If the problem is resolved quickly and it is considered safe to continue the Johnson & Johnson shots, it will have little effect on public confidence, said Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers. He hopes the answer itself assures people that “the system works”.
“It’s very important to understand how closely we monitor everyone who gets vaccinated,” to potential problems, Hannan said. “We have systems to connect the dots.”
In the suburbs near Chicago, Jennifer Rockwood was preparing to shoot Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday morning when she heard the recommended break. After months of waiting, he resigned to receive the vaccine.
“Did you give me hesitation? Yes, he said, ”Rockwood said, 49.“ But I immediately went back to my kitchen counter and opened the laptop again and saw what I could do to get another assignment.
He booked an appointment on Wednesday to get the Pfizer vaccine.
Trump publicly called on Americans to get vaccinated, but he also secretly received his own injections, only after they left office. As president, he devoted a significant portion of the epidemic to minimizing the dangers of the virus, even when he was hospitalized with COVID-19.
Some Republican governors have silenced their own vaccinations in the same way.
In Florida, where about 44% of the population received at least one shot, it was not disclosed that GOP Governor Ron DeSantis received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine until a reporter asked the governor’s spokesman days later. Many other U.S. governors have taken camera shots or held press conferences around them to ensure people are vaccinated safely.
The Democratic governor of Kentucky, a state with a Trump vote, is trying to persuade more people to harass her, with a promise to lift epidemic restrictions as vaccination rates improve. About 1.6 million people in Kentucky received at least one dose, the same proportion as the United States total.
Governor Andy Beshear said Monday he will lift capacity restrictions on restaurants, retail stores, concert halls and other businesses as soon as Kentucky reaches 2.5 million people who had shots.
“Choosing any individual can bring us closer to the normal situation we were looking for,” Beshear said.
AP writers: Cuneyt Dil in Charleston, West Virginia and Sophia Eppolito in Salt Lake City.