Official data overestimates the number of vaccinated Americans, according to the latest COVID States Project
Federal data overestimates how many Americans have been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a new report by the COVID States Project. This week, the project—a multi-university initiative surveying the nation on aspects of the pandemic—released its 100th report, focusing on vaccinations. The report’s findings include that: rates for the primary series of vaccinations have plateaued since fall 2021; the nation’s highest vaccination rates can be found in the Northeast, the West Coast, and Hawaii; the lowest rates are in the South and adjacent states in the upper West and Midwest; and that less than a third of people surveyed say they have gotten the bivalent booster. The report also finds that survey data has differed from that provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most likely because of “the inability of states to link records of multiple shots to a given individual.” So, for example, today the CDC estimates that 92% of Americans have had at least one vaccination shot, compared to the COVID States Project’s estimate of 75%. The project “estimates there are about three times as many people who are completely unvaccinated than the CDC estimates.” The COVID States Project is a joint effort including HKS Professor Matthew Baum and scholars from Harvard Medical School, Northeastern University, Rutgers University, and Northwestern University.