In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic sent the entire world into a tailspin. With more than one million confirmed deaths in the United States alone, COVID-19 took an immense toll on society, and many people are still struggling to fully return to their normal lives.
One of the biggest factors leading to the return to normalcy has been the COVID-19 vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccine has led infection rates to plummet and has prevented serious symptoms among the general population. Most people are back in the workplace, going to movie theaters, traveling, and actively participating in organized sports again — all thanks to the availability of the vaccine.
To better understand the importance of the vaccine and how it has impacted the scope of the pandemic, take a look at this historical summary of COVID-19 vaccination rates and trends.
Since the first rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020, a total of 270,227,181 people in the United States have been vaccinated. This accounts for about 81% of the U.S. population. Of this number, 230,637,348 received more than one dose and are considered fully vaccinated.
These are the numbers as of May 10th, 2023. In the earliest stages of the vaccination rollout, the numbers looked much different. For example, in March of 2021, 33,868,127 people were fully vaccinated for COVID-19, only 10% of the population. A combination of limited accessibility and public skepticism was largely behind these numbers.
As time went on, the public became more informed about the safety and efficacy of the vaccination. At the same time, the vaccine was made more readily available, with various manufacturers and countless locations offering vaccinations.
With ongoing educational campaigns and increased availability, we have reached a point where most of the general population is vaccinated, and infection rates have stayed relatively low. As of August 2023, about 10,000 hospital admissions in the United States were COVID-19-related. While this number is still concerning and should be considered cautiously, it is a significant shift from the all-time high of 150,000.
Since the vaccine’s release, there have been shifting trends in vaccination rates among specific populations. Taking a look at this data can help inform providers, policymakers, and the general public about COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations. The following are some of the most notable trends in COVID-19 vaccination rates since 2021:
Among the people who have been vaccinated for COVID-19, more of them are female. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 82% of females in the U.S. have received one vaccine. This varies slightly from the number for males, which is about 77%.
Age is a demographic that shows much bigger discrepancies in COVID-19 vaccination rates than sex does. When it comes to age, we see significant differences in how the population has gotten vaccinated.
For example, vaccination rates are highest in people 65 years and older. More than 95% of this population has received at least one vaccination, and 93% are considered fully vaccinated.
On the contrary, young children are far less likely to have been vaccinated, particularly those under the age of 12. Only 39% of children between the ages of five and eleven have received one vaccination, and 8% aged two to four have received a vaccination.
In terms of race, there are some notable differences in trends. About 55% of white individuals have gotten at least one vaccine. For Black Americans, about 50% of the population has gotten one vaccination. Hispanic and Latino communities have a 65% vaccination rate.
The numbers start to differ greatly for Asians, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, with 70% of their populations being vaccinated. Numbers are also very high for American Indians and Alaskan Natives, with about 76% of their population having gotten one vaccine.
While there may be a general feeling that the threat of COVID is long gone, the virus will continue to mutate, as evidenced by the new EG.5 (Eris) strain. COVID-19 is still spreading throughout the population and is pervasive in all areas of the world.
To keep infection rates down and prevent further mortalities, people must look at the COVID-19 vaccine in a serious light and take the necessary precautions to keep themselves and their families safe. Schedule your appointment to get vaccinated at www.vaccines.gov.