Vaccine Uptake Skyrockets in States Hit by COVID Delta Surge

COVID-19 vaccination numbers are bouncing back strongest from recent slumps among the states hit worst by the Delta variant surge, Newsweek analysis shows.

Five of the top ten were in states in which COVID cases have at least tripled over the last four weeks as the Delta variant spread.

Vaccination numbers fell sharply following a nationwide peak in April, with a majority who initially wished to be inoculated having now had their shots, and most states experienced significant dips over the July 4 weekend.

But the latest data shows a reversal of the downward trend in key states.

Using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, Newsweek compared the lowest seven-day rolling average vaccination count (since the April peak) with the latest numbers on July 27.

The two biggest upticks were in Louisiana and Mississippi, where the average daily number of inoculations more than doubled.

Louisiana's daily average count moved from 5,028 vaccinations on July 8 to 12,780—an increase of 160 percent. In Mississippi, a post-April low of 2,805 on July 5 rose to 6,592—a 135 percent jump.

Three other states where COVID cases have at least tripled over the last four weeks, make the top 10: Oklahoma (up 85 percent), Tennessee (up 62 percent) and Florida (up 52 percent). That compares to a 26 percent rise nationwide.

A Dolly Parton-inspired COVID vaccine sign.
A Dolly Parton-inspired "Vaccine, Vaccine, Vaccine, Vacciiiine!!!" sign meant to evoke the lyrics of Parton's song "Jolene" on January 28, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The state has seen a rapid surge in COVID cases and low vaccination rates, but those vaccination numbers are beginning to pick up. Erika Goldring/Getty

Oklahoma bounced back from a slump of 4,196 on July 7 to 7,776; Tennessee from 6,549 on July 8 to 10,591; and Florida climbed from 35,476 on July 10 to 53,940.

Across the U.S., the daily average rose from a July 8 slump of 431,882 to 545,761.

Despite the relative resurgence, Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee began from a low base, being among the states with the 10 lowest vaccination rates (at least one shot) in the country since the rollout began, according to the CDC.

StateSix-Month LowDate of LowLatest (July 27)% Change
Louisiana4,923July 812,780160
Mississippi2,805July 56,592135
Wisconsin5,560July 86582118
Virginia11,960July 813245111
Oklahoma4,196July 7777685
Missouri7,400July 613,31580
Tennessee6,549July 810,59162
Kansas2,958July 8476361
Georgia12,650July 91918952
Florida35,476July 1053,94052

The relative resurgence comes as the U.S. faces a surge in cases driven by the Delta variant, which is now the most dominant strain of COVID-19 in the country.

Nationwide, the total COVID case count over the four weeks leading up to July 26 has more than doubled from the previous four weeks as the variant spread.

Florida has seen the largest surge over the four weeks prior to July 26—up 4,552 percent—according to earlier NBC analysis.

Tennessee was second (413 percent), Louisiana third (up 403 percent) and Mississippi fourth (up 353 percent). Oklahoma was seventh (up 315 percent).

On July 29, President Joe Biden announced aggressive new measures to get more Americans vaccinated.

Biden called on states and cities to offer cash incentives of $100 for each newly vaccinated person and he made it mandatory for all 2 million of the country's federal workers to disclose whether they had been vaccinated, or face regular testing.

Making the announcement, the president said: "Right now, too many people are dying or watching someone they love die and say, 'If I'd just got the vaccine."

"This is an American tragedy," he added. "People are dying who don't have to die."

Jill Biden comforts a man being vaccinated.
First lady Jill Biden visited a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Jackson State University in Mississippi on June 22, 2021. Getty Images