This Is the Only State Where You Still Can't Get a COVID Vaccine

There's only one place left in the U.S. where doses are still incredibly limited.

After an initially rocky rollout, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made a decision in January to change their advisory guidelines on who should be prioritized to receive doses during the earliest phases of the process. The new recommendations expanded the age groups to include everyone over the age of 65, with many states immediately following suit and opening availability to the new demographics. But there's still one state where you can't get a COVID vaccine even if you're in the recommended age range: Rhode Island. Read on to see why the smallest state in the union is holding back, and for more on the latest immunization news, find out why Dr. Fauci Says Doing This After Getting Vaccinated Is a Huge Mistake.

While other states across the country have begun expanding access to vaccines for citizens, Rhode Island is the only one that remains in its first phase of the rollout, strictly limiting access to frontline healthcare workers and residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities, The New York Times reports. Local officials say the slow transition into larger groups is the result of a strategy to get the right people inoculated early on.

"In addition to how many people you vaccinate, who you vaccinate matters," Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, Rhode Island's state health director, told The Times. "And that's what distinguishes Rhode Island, and how we are taking this thoughtful approach."

Besides allocating doses to those who need them most, Alexander-Scott also added that the state was being strategic because of the "very limited supply" of vaccine it had been sent. According to public health data posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rhode Island has only administered 56 percent of the doses it has received, ranking it 44th in the U.S. overall.

The state does have a city-by-city pilot program aimed at vaccinating especially high-risk members of the population above 75. Rhode Island's official website explains, "Many municipalities are working through their existing special needs emergency registry to identify small groups for this initial push."

Officials also predict that state residents 65 and older will likely be granted access to vaccinations by the end of February.

But Rhode Island is far from the only state that's slow to get its population vaccinated. Read on to see which states have administered even less than Rhode Island when looking at what they've been allocated, according to Becker's Hospital Review as of Feb. 3. And for more on where you might be able to get your shot, check out If You Live in These States, You Can Get a COVID Vaccine at CVS Next Week.

6
Indiana

USA War Memorials and city skyline in Indianapolis, Indiana at twilight
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Percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered: 56.10 percent

5
Florida

cityscape photo of a roundabout and buildings in Tampa, Florida at sunset
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Percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered: 55.99 percent

And for more vaccine updates, find out why Dr. Fauci Says These 2 Side Effects Mean Your COVID Vaccine Is Working.

4
Hawaii

Hawaii
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Percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered: 55.94 percent

3
Kansas

buildings and the Cooper dome in the downtown area of Topeka, Kansas
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Percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered: 55.93 percent

And for more news from those producing the shots, check out Moderna's Chief Medical Officer Just Gave This Upsetting Update.

2
Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi, USA cityscape at dusk.
iStock

Percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered: 54.81 percent

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1
Alabama

huntsville alabama skyline
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Percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered: 54.64 percent

And for more on how your state is doing overall, check out How Bad the COVID Outbreak Is in Your State.

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Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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