9 States Have Administered More Than Half of Their Vaccine Doses

Carolyn Crist

January 21, 2021

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

Nationwide, about a third of the distributed COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered, and nine states have given out more than half of their doses, according to the latest data from the CDC.

Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and West Virginia — as well as Washington, D.C. — have administered more than 50%.

North Dakota and West Virginia are in the lead with more than 60% of their doses administered. In comparison, Alabama and Georgia have doled out 25% of their doses, and five other states have given 30% or less.

In the fast-moving states, strategic planning, communication, local partnerships and state ownership of the process have been critical components, according to CNN. South Dakota began planning vaccine distribution in August, for instance.

"Preparation, not panic, has been the key," Daniel Bucheli, director of communications for South Dakota's health department, told CNN.

"There's daily communication, with the opportunity for partners to share feedback on what's working and what's not," he said. "Open lines of communication are ongoing."

Colorado has also worked toward a unified system with hospitals, emergency management and technology companies on board. Vaccine providers must administer doses within 72 hours, or state officials will step in and move the unused doses elsewhere.

"We have moved vaccine from one place to another," Scott Bookman, the COVID-19 incident commander for Colorado's health department, told CNN. "And we are at a point now where providers understand our expectation and how seriously we take it."

Even still, several hiccups in the vaccine distribution process have slowed the vaccination efforts more than officials would like, both at the state and national levels, CNN reported. About 31.1 million doses have been distributed as of Tuesday, and 15.7 million doses have been administered, according to the CDC. About 2 million people have received their second dose in the two-shot regimen.


CDC, "COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States."

CNN, "How some states are administering Covid-19 vaccines at twice the speed of others."