Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

A blue state-red state vaccine divide is emerging

A blue state-red state vaccine divide is emerging in the United States, warns infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Hotez.

In several Northeastern states where more than half the population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, there have been significant decreases in coronavirus infections over the last two weeks, wrote Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of Brown University's School of Public Health.

Hotez acknowledged that was good news, but he expressed concern about uneven distribution, with Republican-leaning states like Wyoming, Alabama, and Louisiana struggling to get up to speed as Democratic strongholds continue expanding their vaccine rates. Several surveys have shown Republicans are more likely to say they don't want a vaccine.

The politics-based divide Hotez fears isn't without exceptions. For instance, South Dakota, a red state, has seen a 50 percent decline in cases over the last two weeks, per The New York Times, and has a one-dose vaccination rate of 45 percent, ranking 22nd in the U.S., per Bloomberg. But Bloomberg's tracker shows that red states are overrepresented at the lower-end of vaccination rates, which could mean it'll be a longer road to sharp and steady infection declines.