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Vaccination Rates By State 2021

Vaccination is the administration of a vaccine to help the immune system develop protection from disease. Vaccines contain a weakened microorganism or virus, or proteins or toxins from an organism, not strong enough to infect someone but to help build a tolerance to the disease.

Unlike in some countries around the world, vaccines are easily accessible in the United States. The seasonal influenza vaccine, or flu shot, is often offered for little to no cost at clinics across the United States every year during flu season. Many of these wide-available vaccines are for some of the most aggressive contagions that can be particularly harmful to children, the elderly, and people with autoimmune disease. Vaccines not only protect the individual receiving the vaccine, but also the community preventing the spread of these diseases.

Around the world, more and more people are receiving life-saving vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a thorough list of vaccines used in the United States. An emphasis is placed on children between the ages of zero to 10 to receive a specific list of vaccines: hepatitis A (HepA); hepatitis B (HepB); diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP); Hib, PCV13; inactivated poliovirus (IPV); inactivated influenza (IIV) or live-attenuated influenza (LAIV); measles, mumps, rubella (MMR); and varicella (VAR).

While there are no federal laws regarding the requirement of vaccinations, all 50 states have legislation requiring children attending public school to be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (DTaP); polio (IPV); measles and rubella (MMR); and varicella (chickenpox). All states and the District of Columbia, however, allow medical exemptions for children who have a medical condition preventing them from receiving a vaccine.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, routine immunizations for children are vital for both individual and society health. Because immunization rates vary from state to state, some communities have recently experienced outbreaks of preventable diseases due to a lack of vaccinations. Low vaccination rates can be affected by medical exemptions, parents’ choice (anti-vaccination movement), or by lack of health care or health insurance.

Massachusetts has the highest vaccination rates in the United States. According to the director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s immunization program, it is likely attributed to the facts that the state has a strong provider network and most children receive care in a primary care practitioner office. Additionally, “Massachusetts has had essentially universal healthcare for children longer than what’s been happening nationally.”

Alaska has the lowest vaccination rate in the United States. Officials say that vaccination rates in Alaska are improving, but that more efforts are needed to maintain herd immunity.

Here are the 10 states with the highest rates of vaccination:

  1. Maryland (0.93%)
  2. Vermont (0.92%)
  3. Louisiana (0.88%)
  4. Nevada (0.88%)
  5. Pennsylvania (0.88%)
  6. Connecticut (0.87%)
  7. South Dakota (0.87%)
  8. North Carolina (0.86%)
  9. Montana (0.86%)
  10. New Jersey (0.86%)

Vaccination Rates By State 2021

State Vaccination Rate 2021 Pop.
Wyoming0.00%581,075
Alabama0.74%4,934,193
Mississippi0.76%2,966,407
Wisconsin0.77%5,852,490
California0.77%39,613,493
Ohio0.78%11,714,618
Oklahoma0.78%3,990,443
Iowa0.79%3,167,974
Illinois0.79%12,569,321
Missouri0.79%6,169,038
Florida0.79%21,944,577
Virginia0.79%8,603,985
Kentucky0.79%4,480,713
Georgia0.79%10,830,007
Arizona0.79%7,520,103
New Hampshire0.79%1,372,203
Rhode Island0.79%1,061,509
Texas0.80%29,730,311
South Carolina0.80%5,277,830
Tennessee0.80%6,944,260
Nebraska0.80%1,951,996
North Dakota0.80%770,026
West Virginia0.81%1,767,859
Arkansas0.81%3,033,946
Alaska0.81%724,357
Massachusetts0.81%6,912,239
Hawaii0.81%1,406,430
Michigan0.81%9,992,427
Minnesota0.82%5,706,398
New Mexico0.82%2,105,005
Washington0.82%7,796,941
Maine0.82%1,354,522
Oregon0.83%4,289,439
Idaho0.83%1,860,123
Indiana0.83%6,805,663
Utah0.83%3,310,774
Kansas0.84%2,917,224
Delaware0.85%990,334
New York0.85%19,299,981
Colorado0.85%5,893,634
Montana0.86%1,085,004
New Jersey0.86%8,874,520
North Carolina0.86%10,701,022
South Dakota0.87%896,581
Connecticut0.87%3,552,821
Pennsylvania0.88%12,804,123
Nevada0.88%3,185,786
Louisiana0.88%4,627,002
Vermont0.92%623,251
Maryland0.93%6,065,436

Vaccination Rates By State 2021