Key findings:

  • A national rate (6.3%) of priority people will receive the vaccine first.
  • New York, Massachusetts and South Dakota have the highest rates of high-priority people who will receive first vaccines.
  • Nevada, Wyoming and Utah have the lowest rates of individuals who will receive the first vaccine batch.
  • There are roughly 20 million high-priority individuals (3,714,960 seniors and 16,926,288 health care workers) who could receive the first vaccine distribution.
  • Health care workers only make up about 5% of our national labor force.

The COVID-19 vaccine being developed by a number of pharmaceutical companies is in the final stages of FDA emergency approval. Pfizer and Moderna are leading the way in getting the COVID-19 vaccine distributed before the end of the year. President Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed” vaccine development has already purchased hundreds of millions of doses of vaccines in advance for distribution. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in preparation for vaccine distribution, has awarded $200 million to jurisdictions for vaccination programs. With a vaccine on the way and resources allocated in preparation, who will get the vaccine first, and what states will have the highest-priority groups?

According to COVID-19 vaccine allocation group Ariadne Labs and Surgo Foundation, the initial groups being considered as high priority are:

  • High-risk workers in health care facilities and first responders.
  • Older adults in congregated settings and people with significant comorbid conditions.

Health care workers and first responders are the initial priority group followed by high-risk older adults in nursing facilities. QuoteWizard’s analysis of the Ariadne Labs and Surgo Foundation data among these priority groups found that health care workers and first responders represent 16.9 million people and high-risk adults in nursing facilities represent 3.7 million people. With a little over 20 million people in the high-priority groups, there appears to be nearly enough vaccination doses available to everyone in the priority groups. The Department of Health and Human Services expects to have about 40 million doses of the vaccine available by the end of the year — enough to inoculate about 20 million people, as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots.

states covid-19 vaccine

We here at QuoteWizard continued our analysis of the Ariadne Labs and Surgo Foundation vaccine allocation data to see which states had the highest rates of high-priority groups among the population. Nationwide, we found that 6.3% of the population fits into the high-priority vaccine groups. However, state to state, the rate of population that fits into the high-priority vaccine groups varies. We found that New York, Massachusetts and South Dakota had the largest groups of high-priority individuals — over 8% of their respective populations. States like Nevada, Wyoming and Utah, on the other hand, were among the lowest populations, with less than 5%, respectively, in the high-priority groups.

Methodology

To determine the rate of individuals who will receive the first COVID-19 vaccines per state, QuoteWizard analyzed Ariadne Labs and Surgo Foundation’s Vaccine Allocation Planner for COVID-19 dataset. We looked at the two high-priority groups who will receive the first vaccines declared by the CDC. This includes high-risk workers in health care facilities and older adults who live in congregated or overcrowded areas, such as nursing and residential care residents. To find the states that will require higher rates of the first vaccine distribution, we calculated the total number of these two groups and divided it by the total state population. This allowed us to rank states most in need of the first vaccine.

Rank State Healthcare Workers Seniors in Nursing or Resident Homes Vaccine Distribution (%)
1 New York 1,372,351 273,318 8.5%
2 Massachusetts 512,995 42,202 8.1%
3 South Dakota 54,136 16,917 8.0%
4 Rhode Island 69,935 10,608 7.6%
5 Ohio 723,397 147,702 7.5%
6 North Dakota 44,967 9,528 7.2%
7 Nebraska 103,947 33,753 7.1%
8 Pennsylvania 818,220 85,723 7.1%
9 Missouri 345,014 85,371 7.0%
10 Iowa 155,849 62,600 6.9%
11 Minnesota 346,359 43,513 6.9%
12 Maine 79,785 12,238 6.9%
13 West Virginia 100,883 21,431 6.8%
14 Connecticut 214,802 25,849 6.8%
15 Wisconsin 311,095 78,633 6.7%
16 Tennessee 364,571 81,322 6.5%
17 Hawaii 64,621 27,761 6.5%
18 Louisiana 259,629 43,116 6.5%
19 Delaware 54,339 9,006 6.5%
20 New Jersey 489,082 85,175 6.5%
21 New Hampshire 76,609 11,034 6.5%
22 Florida 1,068,437 273,195 6.3%
23 Arizona 353,988 96,076 6.2%
24 Arkansas 140,460 45,858 6.2%
25 Maryland 320,929 51,686 6.2%
26 Indiana 348,020 66,366 6.2%
27 Illinois 654,598 109,227 6.0%
28 Montana 49,909 14,407 6.0%
29 California 1,719,848 642,269 6.0%
30 Vermont 31,120 6,159 6.0%
31 Oklahoma 187,779 46,596 5.9%
32 Alaska 33,675 9,561 5.9%
33 Kansas 130,540 41,162 5.9%
34 Alabama 236,199 52,564 5.9%
35 Texas 1,402,648 303,374 5.9%
36 Oregon 198,607 47,902 5.8%
37 North Carolina 486,101 124,344 5.8%
38 Michigan 522,041 55,954 5.8%
39 Kentucky 211,152 47,067 5.8%
40 Virginia 388,227 97,153 5.7%
41 Idaho 81,419 19,793 5.7%
42 New Mexico 99,743 17,071 5.6%
43 Colorado 250,061 67,104 5.5%
44 Washington 353,494 60,673 5.4%
45 Mississippi 121,927 35,424 5.3%
46 Georgia 470,455 86,652 5.3%
47 South Carolina 230,969 36,777 5.2%
48 Utah 130,314 27,544 4.9%
49 Wyoming 21,856 6,220 4.9%
50 Nevada 119,186 19,982 4.5%
- United States 16,926,288 3,714,960 6.3%