With just five states reporting nearly half of all new U.S. coronavirus infections, some experts are calling on the Biden administration to send extra vaccine doses to the affected areas.
State health agency data pulled together by Johns Hopkins University shows that in the most recent seven-day period, there were more than 452,000 new COVID-19 cases reported in the U.S. Nearly 197,500 of those cases, or 44 percent, were reported in New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Those five states account for 22 percent of the country's population.
Michigan has the highest rate of new infections over the last two weeks; on Sunday, the state's seven-day average of new daily infections hit 6,719. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) says she believes this is being driven by the more contagious variants and people, tired of being at home, going more places. "What we have to do is really put our foot down on the pedal on vaccines," she said. Whitmer, who received her first vaccine dose on Tuesday, told The Associated Press she asked the White House last week if additional doses could be sent to states where coronavirus is on the rise, and she was told all options are on the table.
Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, chair of the University of California at San Francisco's department of epidemiology and biostatistics, told AP it's clear that "more vaccine needs to be where the virus is." It won't hurt people in other areas if places experiencing a surge get more vaccines, she added, and in fact it would help everyone because it will keep the virus from spreading. More than 40 percent of American adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, with roughly 23 percent fully vaccinated.