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Southern states lag behind much of US in administering virus vaccine, CDC says. Why?

Simone Jasper, Miami Herald on

Published in News & Features

As the United States rolls out COVID-19 vaccines, some Southern states are lagging behind.

As of Friday, six states in the Southeast had among the nation’s lowest rates of vaccine doses administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have all given out fewer than 3,000 doses of the vaccine per 100,000 residents, data show.

Those rates are some of the lowest in the country.

States with the highest rates include Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota and West Virginia, where more than 6,000 doses have been administered per 100,000 people.

So what’s behind the lag in parts of the South?

 

One reason could be that some Southern states are receiving fewer vaccine doses.

Nationwide, the distribution rate in South Carolina was the second-lowest in the nation, at 6,808 vaccine doses per 100,000 residents. Mississippi also had among the lowest rates in the country, CDC data show.

In Georgia and other states, vaccination centers have been flooded with calls and appointments as some experts warn there may not be enough supply to meet demand.

In North Carolina, a survey revealed some factors that county health department officials say made it difficult to administer the first phase of shots. Those included having to limit the number of patients to allow for social distancing and getting little time to plan for vaccine allotments, according to the N.C. Watchdog Reporting Network.

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