While more than a dozen states and several cities now have topped President Joe Biden’s 70% COVID-19 vaccination goal, neither Douglas County nor Nebraska are quite there yet.
With a little more than two weeks to go, both still could hit the mark, which calls for at least 70% of adults to have received at least one dose of vaccine by July 4.
As of Sunday, 64.5% of Douglas County residents age 16 and older had received at least one shot. Biden’s goal targets those 18 and older.
Nebraska is close behind, with 63% of residents 18 and older having gotten at least one shot as of Friday, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed by The World-Herald. That rate is the 24th-highest percentage in the country, with Iowa 25th at 62.6%.
Some 57% of Nebraska residents 18 and older are fully vaccinated, which ranks the state 22nd in the nation. Douglas County is at 59.3% of residents 18 and older fully immunized.
The goal is to get enough people vaccinated to keep the virus under control. Biden announced his 70% goal on May 4.
So far, 14 states, led by Vermont at almost 84%, have hit the mark. Some cities and counties also have met the target. Last week, Seattle’s mayor announced that the city had become the first major American city to fully vaccinate 70% of those 12 and older. Among other cities to hit the 70% one-shot mark are Denver, San Francisco and El Paso, Texas.
In Nebraska last week, the number of shots given per week continued to decline. As of Friday, the state had administered 31,000 for the week, according to CDC data. That was down from 37,000 the previous week and well below the 150,000-shot peak eight weeks ago.
Another piece of good news: Cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska dropped for the seventh straight week last week. For the week ending Friday, the state reported 234 new cases, down from 254 the previous week and 378 the week before that.
The state’s two-week drop of 38% mirrors the national trend, with U.S. cases dropping 31% in that period.
In addition, the state’s per-capita rate remains among the nation’s lowest, fifth after South Dakota, Vermont, California and Maryland.
However, “low” doesn’t necessarily mean out of the woods when it comes to cases. Sixteen states saw rising numbers last week, including neighboring Missouri and Kansas. Both of those states saw cases increase 23%, and Missouri’s per capita case rank now is among the nation’s highest.
Julie Anderson is a medical reporter for The World-Herald. She covers health care and health care trends and developments, including hospitals, research and treatments. Follow her on Twitter @JulieAnderson41. Phone: 402-444-1066.
Henry is a general assignment reporter, but his specialty is deep dives into state issues and public policy. He's also into the numbers behind a story, yet to meet a spreadsheet he didn't like. Follow him on Twitter @HenryCordes. Phone: 402-444-1130.