How Puerto Rico became the most vaccinated place in America

A member of a scientific coalition advising Puerto Rico's government on the coronavirus pandemic recently joked about the island's high Covid-19 vaccination rate, attributing it to the proliferation of drug store chains on the island.

10/24/2021 3:31:00 PM

Puerto Rico -- in recent years pummeled by deadly hurricanes, rocked by earthquakes, beset by political unrest and saddled by debt -- has quietly managed to outpace even New England states with the highest vaccination rates in the country.

A member of a scientific coalition advising Puerto Rico's government on the coronavirus pandemic recently joked about the island's high Covid-19 vaccination rate, attributing it to the proliferation of drug store chains on the island.

"There is a Walgreens on like every corner," said Rafael Irizzary, a professor of biostatistics at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health."Everywhere you go, they have everything you need. Rum. Coffee. You get your fireworks and then you go get a vaccine."Irizzary was only half joking about vaccination rates and Puerto Rico's more than 100 Walgreens outlets. The Caribbean island -- in recent years pummeled by deadly hurricanes, rocked by earthquakes, beset by political unrest and saddled by debt -- has quietly managed to outpace even New England states with the highest vaccination rates in the country. 'I don't feel any fear going out.' How residents are living in America's most vaccinated state Read More"All those emergencies and collective trauma primed Puerto Rico and the leadership, the scientific community, the healthcare community," said Daniel Colón Ramos, a Yale medical school professor who presides over the coronavirus coalition advising the government."There was a sense of urgency. A lot of people that I have worked with, their attitude was like: Not on my watch. Not again."Puerto Rico has fully vaccinated just over 73% of its 3.3 million residents, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's more than 2.3 million people. The island has the highest rate of total vaccine doses administered, with 154,563 per 100,000 people. It had administered 4.9 million doses as of Friday, according to the CDC. On the mainland, Vermont leads with 70.8% of the population fully vaccinated, followed by Connecticut at 70.2% and Maine at 70%, according to the CDC, which added that just over 57% of the total US population was fully vaccinated as of Friday.Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, wrote on Twitter that Puerto Rico's"fabulous" vaccination efforts have"gotten way too little attention." When folks think about highly vaccinated places in America

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They think Vermont or CT or MAThose places are goodBut not the most vaccinated place in AmericaSo who's #1?Puerto Rico!But PR has gotten way too little attentionIts worth reflecting on how they did itThread Read more: CNN »

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Post-Vaccine 20 X Increase of Cancer Americans are too spoilt and irresponsible. wow PR is a cesspool So, it had the money for that? Just that? How's the food and clean water situation?