The most vaccinated states in America are seeing a surge of new COVID infections and hospitalizations, while the least vaccinated states are observing a downward trend in new cases. This is despite the Biden administration's continuous push for more people to get vaccinated against COVID and get booster shots for those who are at higher risk.
According to The Blaze, the seven most vaccinated states in America, which are Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey, have seen a dramatic rise in new COVID infections and hospitalizations in the past two weeks. Five of the seven states have observed a double-digit rise in both new COVID infections and hospitalizations. Except for Vermont and Maine, the rest of those states have seen a spike in cases and hospitalizations. Vermont's hospitalizations rose by 24%, while Maine's rose by 19% as of November 29.
In five of the seven states, new COVID infections showed no signs of slowing down. Rhode Island and Connecticut, which both have a vaccination rate of about 72% each, new COVID cases have risen by 44%, while hospitalizations are up by 30% and 10% respectively. Similarly, in Massachusetts, which has a 71% vaccination rate, new COVID infection rates are up by 32%, while hospitalizations have risen by 44%. In New York and New Jersey, which both have a vaccination rate of 68%, new COVID infections are up by 13% and 39% respectively, while hospitalizations have risen by 18% and 28%, respectively.
Meanwhile, the New York Times tracking data shows that the least vaccinated states in the U.S. are showing some decline in the number of new COVID infections. These states are West Virginia, Idaho, Wyoming, Alabama, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Louisiana.
Washington state, which has a 65% vaccination rate, showed a two-digit decrease in both new COVID infections and hospitalizations. Meanwhile, Missouri and Indiana, which have a 51% vaccination rate, have seen a two-digit increase in cases and hospitalizations.
Experts are blaming the weather
According to Healthline, health experts are blaming the onset of cold weather as a major factor as to why COVID has increased in the most vaccinated states. The cold weather has prompted people to gather indoors more, which makes for a higher risk of getting infected, they posit.
Dr. Karen Edwards, chair of the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, Irvine Program in Public Health, explained that because weather has become colder, more people are gathering indoors and are "in closer proximity to each other, which facilitates transmission between individuals." She added that there may be "less adherence to mask wearing, good hygiene, and social distancing, which combined with more indoor activities, will increase opportunities for infection, especially among the unvaccinated."
Dr. Robert C. Bollinger of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine warned that vaccination alone "is not enough to stop an infectious disease." and that mask wearing and social distancing must be continuously practiced. He remarked, "It doesn't take many unvaccinated people to drive rates up when you have a highly infectious disease like this."
It's worth noting how other places that aren't suffering from COVID-19 surges either don't have strict rules on masking, have a low vaccination rate, and use ivermectin to treat infections, along with other proven early treatment options.