Most vs. Least Vaccinated States


 By Steve Kirsch

When a COVID infection wave hit the most and least vaccinated states in 2022, the most vaccinated state had the higher COVID case rates and the higher relative death peaks. Whoops!

Executive summary

According to US News & World ReportWyoming is the least vaccinated state (52.8%) and Rhode Island is the most vaccinated state.

So just for fun, I thought I'd see how these states fared when there was a huge COVID infection outbreak at the start of 2022 that affected both these states.

It turned out that the least vaccinated state had the lower rise in all-cause mortality (1.25 vs. 1.42) vs. avg mortality for the year.

In other words, vaccination appeared to increase all-cause mortality when COVID hit.

However, it might be the case that Rhode Island simply was "hit harder" by the COVID wave with twice as many COVID infections per capita. Or was Rhode Island hit harder because more people were vaccinated and thus more susceptible to infection which is what the Cleveland Clinic study showed very clearly?


COVID waves are when the CDC would expect the most vaccinated states to do the best compared to the average death rate for the year. So we’d expect a smaller rise in deaths during a COVID infection wave compared to the deaths over the year.

The biggest COVID death peak is at the start of 2022.

So the method is pretty simple: compare the worst four weeks at the start of 2022 with the average death rate for the year in that state. The winner should have the lowest ratio.

CDC database used for calculations

I used the CDC database of weekly deaths by age and state and the visualization tool on the CDC website.

Rhode Island ages 65-74 (Most vaccinated 87.1%)