Vermont has at least partially vaccinated 80% of residents 12 years of age or older, allowing it to lift any remaining pandemic restrictions in the state, Gov. Phil Scott said on Monday.
Federal data confirmed the state first passed the 80% milestone, while lagging vaccination rates elsewhere put President Biden’s national goal of shooting at least 70% in the arms at risk adults over 18 by July 4.
“I am very proud to announce that Vermont has now become the first state in the country to vaccinate over 80% of its population aged 12 and over,” Scott said at a press conference Monday.
Vermont has been very successful in dealing with the coronavirus. A New York Times database shows that the state has reported fewer cases and fewer deaths, relative to its population, than any other state except Hawaii. Vermont has vaccinated 84 percent of its adult population, aged 18 or older; Hawaii and Massachusetts are the only other states to have exceeded 80% by this measure.
“Not only are we leading the United States, but Vermont is now a world leader in vaccinations to defeat Covid-19,” Scott said. “Our State has shown the world what is possible when you have a group of people with the right attitude who follow data and trust medical science.”
The number of new positive tests reported daily across the country appears to be leveling off after declining steadily for months. Experts fear that states with low vaccination rates, especially in the South, could incubate new epidemics.
Mississippi, for example, is the state with the lowest vaccination rate in the country, based on population share, where only 35% of people have received at least one dose, according to a New York database. Times. Its neighbors, Alabama and Louisiana, have comparable rates, where 37% of people in each state have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Mr Scott, a Republican, on May 14 lifted his state’s mask mandate and capacity restrictions for those vaccinated. He said Vermont’s state of emergency would end on Tuesday.
“It’s really very simple: there are no more state restrictions related to Covid-19,” he said.
Vermonters must still follow federal pandemic regulations, and businesses will be allowed to take safety measures like requiring masks if their owners choose to do so, he said.
“This is something companies have to decide for themselves,” Scott said.
Many states have relaxed or removed most of their pandemic restrictions, including some with much lower vaccination rates than Vermont.
Mr Scott praised public health officials for his state’s testing program and vaccine rollout. But he noted that Vermont’s job was far from done.
“We will continue to vaccinate as many Vermonters as possible, because every injection given today, tomorrow and in the weeks to come is just as important as the ones we gave yesterday,” he said.
Amy Schoenfeld Walker contributed reporting.