Oct 19, 2021 - Health

Puerto Rico leads U.S. COVID vaccination rates

People attend the first mass vaccination event to get inoculated with the Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico on March 31, 2021.
A mass vaccination event at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on March 31. Photo: Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images

Puerto Rico has the highest percentage of people fully vaccinated against the coronavirus in the United States as of Oct. 19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: The island has managed to accomplish such feats amid frequent power outages, earthquakes and high dependence on imports of health technologies from outside the region.

By the numbers: 72.2% of Puerto Rico's total population of 3.3 million are fully inoculated against the virus, according to CDC data.

  • The territory also has one of the U.S.' lowest COVID community transmission rates, with only 18 confirmed cases among 100,000 residents in the last seven days.

What they're saying: "This means hundreds, if not thousands of lives saved," Daniel Colón Ramos, president of the scientific coalition of Puerto Rico, told the Miami Herald on Tuesday.

  • "There are people who are literally living their lives with normalcy who would not be here if it weren't for these efforts."
  • "Puerto Rico has been successful in vaccination thanks to the measures we established as a government and the cooperation of the people," Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said, per the Herald.
Go deeper