Coronavirus

Mass., Vermont, Connecticut lead the nation in vaccination rates

High vaccination rates and low new case rates — could things be looking up?

Caridad Lendof received her first dose of the Moderna vaccine from RN Solennys Fernandez in Lawrence. Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

Several states in the Northeast are leading the country in COVID-19 vaccinations — and reporting some of the lowest new case rates — while hospitals elsewhere are overwhelmed with unvaccinated COVID-19 patients.

According to data released Sunday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over two thirds of the populations in Massachusetts, Vermont, and Connecticut have been vaccinated against COVID-19. These states are also seeing the lowest rates of new cases per capita, with nearby Maine and New Hampshire not far behind. 

This map, updated Sept. 12, shows the status of COVID-19 vaccination rates across the country. – CDC

The Northeast, west coast, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and some of the territories continue to have the highest rates of vaccination, but much of the country has low to moderate vaccination rates. In Massachusetts, 72% of the population has been vaccinated

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When it comes to new case rates, it’s a different story in some states across the country. Tennessee, for example, reported 584.9 news cases per 100,000 in the last seven days, compared to numbers in the 100s in the Northeast. 

“We actually have the lowest ICU available rate that we’ve had since the start of this crisis, in part due to the unvaccinated with Covid and just other types of trauma that goes up seasonally this time of year,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis told CNN Friday. “Some hospitals are reaching very close to their capacity limits. And that wouldn’t be happening if people were vaccinated.”

In Massachusetts, case rates began rising in early July and just recently appeared to be falling, based on Sept. 5 and 7 case rates. The seven-day case average on Sept. 9 was 1,129.9, down from 1,545.7 on Sept. 5. 

Hospitalization rates also appear to be stabilizing. They, too, began increasing in July and hit a recent peak on Sept 9, with 624 COVID-19 patients hospitalized; the daily number has hovered around 600 since Aug. 29. Most hospitalized patients are unvaccinated: of the 624 hospitalized COVID-19 patients on Sept. 9, 181, or 29%, were vaccinated. There were 168 patients in the ICU and 86 intubated on Sept. 9.

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