Tennessee ranks 33rd of the 50 states for the percentage of COVID-19 vaccines it has distributed versus the number of doses it received, data show.
The ranking was revealed by Becker’s Hospital Review, and is available here. Becker’s updated the data on Tuesday.
The ranking is taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID Data Tracker, available here.
According to Tuesday’s Becker’s report, Tennessee had received 998,875 doses but only administered 627,911, or 62.86 percent.
North Dakota ranked first among states. The Peace Garden State administered 99,481 doses of the 108,050 it had received, or 92.07 percent.
Last place went to Alabama, which administered only 358,280 of the 659,400 doses it had received, or 54.33 percent.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee recently came under fire for the vaccine’s distribution to Memphis, as The Tennessee Star reported.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland explained that Shelby County was experiencing a temporary shortage of vaccines. Lee wrote Strickland a letter refuting claims that the vaccines were not distributed equally to the county.
“[I]t has been reported that Shelby County has not received an equitable share of vaccine doses relative to other counties across the state. However – and I want to be clear and unmistakable about this – any such claims are incorrect,” stated Lee.
However, some claimed that vaccinations weren’t being distributed properly. On Monday, Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN-09) accused the governor in a letter of not ensuring fair allocation of vaccines to the Memphis area.
Tennessee’s lagging distribution is not for lack of trying.
Nearly two weeks ago, the state announced it was expanding the number of people who qualified, The Star reported. The state added people living in households with medically fragile children to Phase 1c of the COVID-19 Vaccination Plan, even while doses remain extremely limited for seniors. Phase 1c also includes people age 16 and older who have medical conditions placing them at high risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19, the Tennessee Department of Health said.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.