The exponential nature of viral spread means that pandemics are fast-moving and dynamic.
Combine this with the high interconnectedness of modern life—even when social distancing and lockdowns are applied—and pandemics can evolve quickly. In just a few weeks, previous hotspots can cool down, while new high risk areas can crop up seemingly out of nowhere.
In the United States, like many other places in the world, the virus is hitting regions differently, and this landscape is constantly changing over time.
COVID-19 Growth, by State
Today’s first visualization comes to us from Reddit user bgregory98, and it uses data from the New York Times to plot confirmed active COVID-19 cases by state.
States are organized by the date that weekly average cases peaked, from top to bottom. Data is normalized and is current until June 16th, and states are colored based on regional definitions (i.e. Northeast, Midwest, West, South) as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.
As you can see, when looking purely at active cases, the situation has evolved considerably from a geographical perspective.
Early on, COVID-19 cases were more concentrated in coastal population centers, especially in the Northeast. New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, the three hardest hit states per capita so far, saw cases peak in April.
However, a look at the bottom half of the visualization shows that generally, states in the South and West are starting to heat up with cases. Recent daily numbers confirm this, with California, Texas, Florida, Arizona, and North Carolina all gaining more than 1,000 new cases on June 17th.
Growth by State, Part Deux
The following visualization by Reddit user jawsem17 is designed using a similar concept, and is current as of June 17th.
This version uses the same data set from the New York Times. However, it also includes deaths as a metric, showing a comparison of peak deaths to peak cases for each state.
Although one would expect peak deaths to follow peak cases, this is not always the case.
Peak deaths in Nevada, for example, occurred on April 24th, but peak cases have been in the last week. This same peculiar pattern can be seen in a variety of states, from California to Oklahoma.
Mapped: The Evolution of COVID-19 in the U.S.
As the pandemic spreads and the situation has evolved, the mean center of weekly COVID-19 cases has been moving in a southwest direction.
The following map, which also comes from Reddit user bgregory98, averages the center coordinates of all counties weighted by how many new confirmed cases they have had over the past week:
Originating in Ohio, the mean center of cases was initially heavily skewed by cases in the New York metro area. Since then, the mean center of cases has shifted and has now journeyed slightly past the mean center of U.S. population, located in Missouri.
This is partially a regression to the mean, but it is also driven by growing case counts in aforementioned states in the southern and western parts of the country.
Mapped: Peak County Totals
Finally, the progression of COVID-19 within the U.S. can be mapped in another useful way, revealing a geographical perspective to the virus’ spread.
These maps from Winston Saunders show places where current disease levels are below their previous peaks (blue), and where current COVID-19 cases are at highs (red) as of June 18:
Cases Below Previous Peaks
Cases at Peak Levels
This again shows the shift from the Northeast and Midwest parts of the country towards the West and South regions.
As always, the path of the virus’ spread will continue to change and evolve, and the picture could again look quite different in just a few weeks time.
COVID-19 Vaccine Doses: Who’s Got At Least One?
Vaccine rollouts are underway, but how quickly are COVID-19 vaccines being administered? This charts follows vaccine administration globally.
COVID-19 Vaccine Doses: Who’s Got At Least One?
With COVID-19 vaccine rollouts well underway in some countries, a return to ‘normal life’ could come sooner than later.
That said, many jurisdictions have experienced serious delays and supply shortages that have made it difficult to distribute COVID-19 vaccine doses to their populations. As of mid-February, 130 countries had not been able to begin vaccinating at all.
This interactive chart from Our World in Data tracks the share of people in each country that have received COVID-19 vaccine doses so far.
The Global Vaccine Rollout
As of publication date, roughly 100 countries have begun vaccine distribution, with about seven different vaccines available for public use at this stage.
The sheer logistical challenge of doling out vaccines is immense. Experts estimate that 70-80% of the world’s population will need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity. Additionally, some of the vaccines require two doses which adds extra time and complexity to the process.
Here’s how the various vaccines compare in terms of required doses and levels of effectiveness.
|Vaccine||Number of Shots Required||Effectiveness|
|Johnson & Johnson||1||66%|
|Novavax (*Novavax has not yet been approved for public use)||2||89%|
Source: Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker
One key barrier to successfully administering vaccines is the prevalence of vaccine hesitancy around the globe.
For example, many people in Germany have been refusing the AstraZeneca vaccine due to a belief in its ineffectiveness and a preference for the ‘in-house’ German Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Although 1.45 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses have arrived in the country so far, just 270,000 have been administered.
Who’s Got at Least One Dose?
According to Bloomberg’s Vaccine Tracker, the current rate of doses being administered globally is more than 6 million per day. In particular, the U.S. has been remarkably efficient at administering doses, with a vaccine administration rate of over 1.7 million per day.
Here’s a breakdown of the countries who have begun vaccinating their populations and their current daily rate of doses administered.
|Country||Daily Rate of Doses Administered|
|🇰🇾 Cayman Islands||621|
|🇨🇷 Costa Rica||706|
|🇨🇿 Czech Republic||15,298|
|🇩🇴 Dominican Republic||9,356|
|🇮🇲 Isle of Man||599|
|🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia||34,180|
|🇿🇦 South Africa||7,569|
|🇱🇰 Sri Lanka||4,755|
Source: Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker. Data as of Feb 28, 2021.
Certain countries appear to be on track to distribute all of their COVID-19 vaccine doses at an immensely quick rate. For example, the UK plans to vaccinate enough people to be able to lift all lockdown restrictions completely by the end of June 2021.
Additionally, the first COVAX rollouts have officially begun; COVAX is an initiative working to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. Ghana was the first country to receive doses through the initiative.
Back to Normal?
Most countries are prioritizing vaccinating their high-risk groups first, from older adults to healthcare workers. That said, the planning required to vaccinate an entire population needs to be carefully thought out and often comes with immense logistical challenges.
While many countries have begun to immunize their populations, others have not been able to purchase doses yet. At the current pace, it could take a few years before things are completely back to normal and we reach herd immunity globally.
Visualizing Global Attitudes Towards the COVID-19 Vaccines
This graphic visualizes global attitudes to vaccines categorized into five segments including anti-vaxxers and COVID cautious.
Visualizing Global Attitudes Towards COVID-19 Vaccines
View the high-resolution of the infographic by clicking here.
To vaccinate, or not to vaccinate? That is the question.
In order to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, some experts believe that between 70% to 80% of a population must be vaccinated.
But attitudes towards these vaccines are undoubtedly mixed. In fact, it’s estimated that one-third of people globally have some major concerns.
Using survey data from eight different countries, Global Web Index created five archetypes to help illustrate how typical attitudes towards vaccines differ depending on a range of factors, such as age, income, lifestyle, and values.
|Segment||Breakdown||Age Skew||Gender Skew||Income||Vaccine Concerns|
|Vaccine Supporter||66%||18-34||None||High income||Potential side-effects, availability, and logistics of vaccine distribution.|
|Vaccines Hesitant||12%||38-56||Female||Low/Middle income||Potential side-effects specifically due to no long-term testing, cost of vaccine, and more transparency around science required.|
|Vaccine Obligated||11%||16-24||Male||Low income||Potential side-effects, not sure COVID-19 vaccine is necessary to combat the virus.|
|Vaccine Skeptical||11%||45-64||Female||Low income||Potential side-effects, don’t believe vaccines can curtail the pandemic.|
|Anti-vaxxer||1.4% (13% of the Vaccine Skeptical segment)||16-24, 55-64||Male||Low income||Potential side-effects, don’t believe vaccines in general are safe.|
Countries surveyed: United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Brazil, China, India, Japan, and Italy.
Which segment are you most likely to fall under, according to these segments?
[People who say they will get the COVID-19 vaccine.]
Out of all participants surveyed, 66% of them support the idea of getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Within this group, there is a skew towards younger people (aged 18-34) who are likely working professionals earning a high income and living in a city.
Despite their optimism towards COVID-19 vaccines, however, one-third of vaccine supporters say they will wait to get one, due to lingering concerns regarding issues with vaccine distribution and any potential side-effects.
Interestingly, this procrastination mindset has been seen before during the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic when both members of the general public and healthcare workers showed low levels of vaccine acceptance due to safety concerns.
[People who are not sure if they will get the COVID-19 vaccine.]
The vaccine hesitant group, which is more common among cautious suburban parents, makes up 12% of the total study. They are more likely to be female, and feel anxious about the length of time spent testing vaccines and therefore require more transparency around the science.
With that being said, this group could be easily swayed, as they are more receptive to word-of-mouth and messaging boards to get advice from their peers over any other medium.
[People who will only get the vaccine if it’s necessary for travel, school, work etc.]
The vaccine obligated group makes up 11% of the total, and has a skew towards males aged between 16 and 24 years old.
While this group is also concerned with potential side-effects, their responses suggesting that a vaccine may not be necessary to combat COVID-19 was above average compared to other segments in the study. They also index above average when it comes to viewing themselves as traditionalists.
[People who won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine.]
The vaccine skeptical group makes up another 11% of the total. However, this group is mostly female, who are aged between 45-64 and earn a lower-than-average income. They are less likely to have a college degree, and are more likely to live in a rural area.
Along with the worry of potential side-effects, this group is generally more pessimistic about containing COVID-19 at all. Therefore a small percentage do not believe a vaccine will help tackle the global health crisis.
With notably low trust levels, this group is one of the hardest to reach and potentially persuade. What makes them unique however, is their lack of faith in the scientific process.
[People who will not get the vaccine, because they are against vaccines in general.]
It is important to note that those who choose not to get a COVID-19 vaccine should not be confused with anti-vaxxers.
Anti-vaxxers are a sub-segment of the vaccine skeptical group that makes up 1.4% of the total population. The difference is, anti-vaxxers do not believe in getting any vaccine due to safety concerns, not just not a vaccine for COVID-19.
According to the study, anti-vaxxers tend to fall into one of two age brackets, between 16-24 years or 55-64 years old, and are typically males with lower incomes.
Another Tool in the Arsenal Against COVID-19
The study demonstrates that broad segments of society—regardless of their demographic or views—are at least somewhat concerned about COVID-19 vaccines becoming widely available.
While scientists are not quite sure if the current vaccines on the market can stop infection or transmission of the virus, they are an important part of our global defenses against COVID-19, along with other safety restrictions like wearing masks and keeping a distance.
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