The U.S. now leads the world in Covid-19 vaccine shots administered, with more than 1.12 million doses given in the first 10 days of its campaign, according to state-by-state data compiled by Bloomberg.
Three states have now vaccinated more than 1% of their populations: North Dakota, West Virginia, and Alaska. California leads in total vaccinations at 128,000 shots. The numbers fall short of a U.S. goal to administer 20 million shots in 2020, U.S. officials acknowledged Wednesday. That amount will be disbursed to states by the end of the month, but not in time to be administered.
Shots are rolling out from Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc., focused at first on hundreds of thousands of health-care workers around the country who have been battling the virus on the front lines in hospitals. The vaccines require two shots weeks apart to deliver the highest level of protection.
Urgency is rising as a wave of winter infections washes over the northern hemisphere. New variants of the disease have been detected in the U.K. and South Africa. The mutations appear to make the virus more contagious and may be increasing infections among healthy young people. In the U.S., more than 2,500 people are dying every day.
China, which has several home-grown vaccines, said on Dec. 19 that it had reached the million-dose milestone. That figures include some people who have already taken the second dose. Russia has vaccinated 440,000 people. Both countries got a head start in August by authorizing domestically produced vaccines before they’d been fully tested.
The U.K. is also making rapid progress delivering the shots and is expected to provide an update on its tally as soon as Wednesday afternoon.