September 24, 2021 Editor

Mapping America’s hospitalization and vaccination divide

Stark differences across the country revealed

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Zach Levitt is a graphics reporter focusing on cartography for The Washington Post. He previously worked at National Public Radio and the Los Angeles Times. Twitter

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By  Dan Keating
Dan Keating analyzes data for projects, stories, graphics and interactive online presentations. Twitter 

September 25, 2021

WN: From what I understand, the overwhelming demonstration of the effectiveness of COVID vaccines in preventing serious illness and death starkly underscores the folly of holding out until . . . what?!

[pullquote]Unvaccinated people are 10 times more likely to be hospitalized than fully vaccinated people . . .[/pullquote]Some cannot be vaccinated due to health reasons. Others are unable for various reasons to get to vaccination sites when open. These explain a small percentage of holdouts.

There are several more helpful charts in the article highlighted below.

[pullquote]In general, the rates of vaccination in each region are the inverse of hospitalization rates.[/pullquote]As I said in the previous post about the overweening stupidity of Albertans in Canada holding “COVID parties” to get infected, to develop immunity without the vaccine:

And so it goes. We live in a dystopian post-truth world where “facts” are broadly established mainly by pundits or politicians–or by Facebook Blogs1; experts are not merely the last consulted: they are disbelieved from the get-go. Sigh . . .

A month later we read this, by Andrew Naughtie | October 21, 2021:

ANTI-ANTI-VAX: The CDC has released data showing that as of August, unvaccinated people were more than six times as likely to test positive for Covid-19 as vaccinated people and 11 times as likely to die of it. The disparity applies across all three of the main vaccines being administered across the US – but in some quarters of the political world, umbrage at the inoculation program still runs high, with Texas Governor Greg Abbott complaining that Americans may yet find themselves getting Covid-19 booster shots every year. (He was roundly mocked for raising the alarm about that, with many critics pointing out that Americans already take vaccines annually and some medications every day.)


The delta covid wave carves a dividing line across the country defined by one rule: Regions with more vaccinations have fewer hospitalizations.

The map above shows places in green where most of the people are fully vaccinated and very few hospital beds are occupied by covid patients.

In purple, the map shows communities where fewer people are vaccinated and hospitals have as many as 10 times the covid patients as those in the high-vaccination areas.

U.S. coronavirus cases and state maps

Each shaded area on the map covers all the patients and all the beds in that region, which includes small hospitals and the nearby major medical centers where the sickest patients are treated.

The green regions in and around Boston; New Haven, Conn.; the Bronx in New York City; Philadelphia; Chicago; El Paso; Dubuque, Iowa; and Newark have only 3 percent to 6 percent of their hospital beds holding covid patients.

Dark purple marks the alternative places like South Carolina’s Florence, Greenville and Spartanburg, where 25 percent to 38 percent of hospital patients have covid.

[pullquote]The delta covid wave carves a dividing line across the country defined by one rule: Regions with more vaccinations have fewer hospitalizations.[/pullquote]In general, the rates of vaccination in each region are the inverse of hospitalization rates. In less hospitalized green zones, 50 percent of the population or more are fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, the least vaccinated purple area sits at only 21 percent. In the counties in South Carolina where hospitals have been hit hard, vaccination rates are between 35 and 42 percent.

Coronavirus vaccine tracker: Doses, people vaccinated by state

More than a third of the country is in the high-hospitalization/low vaccination category and shaded bright purple. Another third of the country is low-hospitalization/high-vaccination green. The remainder hovers in the middle, with medium levels of covid hospitalization and vaccination rates a bit above or below the national average.

Unvaccinated people are 10 times more likely to be hospitalized than fully vaccinated people, according to the latest CDC studies reviewing patients during the delta wave, which has triggered another surge in deaths.2

Please click on: Mapping America’s hospitalization and vaccination divide

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  1. Please see here and here; with more to follow.[]
  2. See also: We’re not ready for the next pandemic, by MYAH WARD, 09/24/2021, where we read:

    There were a lot of things we didn’t anticipate in terms of responding to Covid-19 supply chain issues, science communication challenges, medical misinformation, etc. I do believe that our experiences and response to Covid-19 will make us more prepared, mostly because the public is now aware of how impacting these events can be. But I also worry that our ability to truly establish sustained investment and attention to biological threats is frankly not permanent. We have a lot of work to do and my hope is that living through this will have left a lasting demand for change when it comes to public health, healthcare, social and global inequity and long-term pandemic preparedness and research. — Saskia Popescu, an epidemiologist and biostatician at George Mason University and the University of Arizona[]


Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.

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