Good news: California has gotten better at administering its available COVID-19 vaccines, going from a 27.5% usage rate last week to a 37.3% usage rate this week.
Bad news: Other states have also picked up the pace, and California now ranks 50th out of 50 states in percentage of shots used.
Thursday’s update to Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker shows that the national rate increased from 38.8% last week to 48.6% this week. Last week’s 50th-ranked state was Alabama, which saw its usage rate jump from 21.2% to 41.1% week-over-week. For reference, California was ranked 49th last week.
This week, the 49th, 48th and 47th ranked states in order are Minnesota (39.8%), Virginia (40.2%) and Alabama (41.1%). The top three states are North Dakota (82.8%), West Virginia (73.0%) and New Mexico (68.6%).
Of the nation’s six largest states, California remains the only one with a usage rate below 40%, as was the case last week. Three have since crossed the 50% threshold this week.
There have been many explanations for California’s slow vaccine rollout, including unnecessarily confusing guidelines and a lack of health care workers to administer the vaccine.
Earlier this week, the state temporarily warned counties not to use a batch of the Moderna vaccine after fewer than 10 people at one vaccine distribution site experienced a possible allergic reaction. That guidance was later lifted and there have been no further reported issues.