Vermont is now first in the nation in its Covid-19 vaccination rate, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About 340,000 residents, or 62% of the population, have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to last week’s data from the Vermont Department of Health. About 44% of Vermonters have received both doses.
The state overtook Connecticut for first place in the U.S. within the past week.
Gov. Phil Scott heralded the announcement on Twitter on Monday. “We’ve been a national leader throughout the pandemic, and it’s up to all of us to finish strong,” he wrote, urging Vermonters to sign up for their shots.
The ranking is based on total doses administered — including first and second doses. By that count, Vermont has offered 580,000 shots since December, a rate of 93,100 per 100,000 people, according to the CDC.
Meanwhile, supply appears to have outstripped demand. Many of the state’s sites have open slots, and inoculation rates have slowed. The state has opened up vaccination to part-time residents, including college students from other states and people who work in Vermont but live across the border.
The Department of Health will now have to focus its efforts on reaching people hesitant to get the vaccine or who face barriers to getting a dose, such as Vermonters experiencing homelessness or those in the Northeast Kingdom, where uptake has been lower.
Infection rates have also plummeted, down 39% from April 1, Mike Pieciak, commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation, said last week. Deaths and hospitalizations related to the virus have also declined.
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