Fact Check: Does Lauren Boebert's District Have Lowest Vaccination Rate in Colorado?

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) has come under scrutiny over her comments on vaccines amid the COVID-19 pandemic and how they may have impacted the vaccination rate in her district.

The Claim

Debby Burnett, who is seeking to replace Boebert in Colorado's 3rd district, said in a tweet that Boebert's district has the lowest vaccination rate of any in her state.

"Our district has the lowest vaccination rate in Colorado because of Lauren Boebert's lies and misinformation," Burnett tweeted on August 31. Burnett made these remarks alongside an image of a printed cutout of Boebert she had taken to a mobile vaccination clinic.

Our district has the lowest vaccination rate in Colorado because of Lauren Boebert's lies and misinformation.

Since she won't get vaccinated, we printed her out and took her to a free mobile clinic! pic.twitter.com/YdbgwTuFdW

— Dr. Debby Burnett for Colorado (@BurnettForCO3) August 31, 2021

The Facts

The Geographic Insights research lab at Harvard University has looked at the COVID-19 vaccine rollout across congressional districts in the U.S.

It tracks figures on vaccines administered, as well as percentages of the population who have had a first shot of the vaccine and those who are fully vaccinated.

Looking at the table view, it is possible to break data down state-by-state.

"We present daily updates of vaccination metrics for US Congressional Districts. Representatives and policymakers can use this data to understand how vaccine distribution is progressing in their respective Congressional District," a page from Geographic Insights states.

When done so for Colorado, Boebert's district comes out bottom on several statistics-based on figures as of August 31.

For vaccines administered it is the lowest district in the state, with 772,879. It is also bottom of the list when the numbers are split for vaccinations initiated and vaccines completed.

In terms of percentage of the population vaccinated, the district is also at the bottom. In terms of vaccines initiated, this at 54.95 percent of the population, and for completed it is 49.13 percent.

The second lowest is Colorado's 5th congressional district, which has a rate of 51.03 percent looking at vaccinations completed across its population.

The highest rate is Colorado's 1st congressional district, in which 64.95 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.

The data in the table comes from COVID Act Now, an independent non-profit that collects and publishes COVID-19 statistics. The team at Harvard translated its county data to district statistics.

Across the U.S., 61.8 percent of the population has had at least one dose and 52.4 percent is fully vaccinated, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures.

Boebert has not publicly revealed her vaccination status and expanded on her reasoning for that in an op-ed for Fox News published on August 13.

"As a congresswoman, I have never publicly advocated for or against taking the vaccine. I've never revealed my private health information, although I've made it clear that in the past my husband and I have made the choice to be vaccinated and to vaccinate our children," she wrote.

Boebert has taken issue with vaccine mandates, and continued in her piece: "I've never told others what to do with the vaccine because I am not a medical doctor and I do not believe it is the proper role of a politician or a bureaucrat to mandate what should be a personal, informed medical decision. It is not the government's right to tell you what to inject into your body."

In a tweet in July, Boebert described the vaccine as "experimental," and took aim at "surge response teams" going into communities in bids to boost vaccination rates—calling these "needle Nazis."

Newsweek has contacted Boebert for comment in regard to the vaccination rate in her district.

In further comments shared to Newsweek, Burnett spoke of the "horrors" of COVID.

"As a hospital physical therapist working on the COVID floor the past 18 months, I have seen this first hand the horrors of this disease," Burnett said.

Burnett again took issue with Boebert's remarks which she said "undermine" the vaccine.

On the vaccine rate, Burnett added: "Our district is still less than 50 percent vaccinated and hospitals are reaching capacity.

"It's her job to be a leader in helping to defeat this pandemic and save lives, but she instead chose to placate the extremists in her party. She won't even say if she's vaccinated, which means she's either a hypocrite or dangerously ignorant."

The Ruling

Fact Check - True

True.

FACT CHECK BY NEWSWEEK

Colorado's 3rd congressional district—which Boebert represents—has the lowest COVID-19 vaccine uptake of any district in the state, latest figures show.

In percentage terms, the district's rate is below the figure for the nation as a whole, according to CDC figures.

lauren boebert speaking to a reporter
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) speaks to a reporter during a visit to the border wall near Pharr, Texas on June 30, 2021. The COVID-19 vaccination rate in her district has come under scrutiny. Sergio Flores/AFP via Getty Images

Update 9/2/2021, 5:55 a.m. ET: This article has been updated to include further comment from Debby Burnett.