Guam places 4th in most vaccinations nationwide as insular areas take top spots

DPHSS vaccination clinic. (PNC file photo)

Guam is in fourth place nationwide in terms of the percentage of people who have had at least one COVID-19 vaccination shot.

According to a New York Times compilation of U.S. CDC data, at least 16% of Guam’s population have already received the first dose, with 6% getting the second dose as of Feb. 13, 2021.

All in all, Guam has had 51,300 doses delivered, 37,750 shots given and 74 percent of the doses used.

Except for the state of Alaska, U.S. insular areas have taken the top places in the percentage of COVID vaccinations completed because of their small land size and populations.

The top 5, in order, are American Samoa, Palau, Alaska, Guam, and the CNMI.

“There are many reasons for variation among the states and territories, including demand for the vaccine, lags in data reporting and other logistical challenges,” the New York Times stated.

President Joe Biden recently announced plans to expand supply and to give states and territories more advance notice about the number of shots available to them each week.

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero is aware of Guam’s high standing and even quoted Gen. Gustave Perna, Operation Warp Speed’s chief operating officer, as saying that Guam is “crushing it out there.”

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“So they have this on their radar. So that’s good. We’re trying to get as many vaccines as we can because our logistics and our distribution infrastructure have greatly improved. I know there have been issues recently, but we took care of those immediately,” Leon Guerrero said during an interview with NewsTalk K57’s Patti Arroyo.

The Guam Women’s Chamber of Commerce also shared the news of Guam’s high vaccination rate through its email mailing list.

“Good news on the homefront as Guam continues to contain the spread of the coronavirus. In fact, Guam was ranked in 4th place of the percentage of vaccinated people among all states and territories two days ago … that ranking may be even higher by the end of the month with an estimated 10% of our population forecasted to be fully vaccinated,” the Guam Women’s Chamber shared.

The group added: “This is great news as the highest-ranking places in the vaccine roll-outs also include CNMI, Palau, and American Samoa. Island nations are succeeding!”

The governor, however, had this caveat: “Again, I just want to remind people that being vaccinated doesn’t mean you cannot get the virus. What it means is that when you do get the virus, the severity of the illness is not as great as if you’re not vaccinated. And so vaccination doesn’t prevent you from getting it. And that’s what we need to always remember.”

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