Puerto Rico’s citizens are highly vaccinated. Out of the U.S. territory’s population of 3 million, 74% have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
This percentage might not sound like a lot, but it’s impressive compared to the 50 states.
The state with the highest rate of fully-vaccinated individuals is Vermont, at 72%. On the other end of the spectrum, only 41% of West Virginia residents have received both vaccine doses.
Unlike politicians in other parts of the U.S., Puerto Rico’s leaders kept politics out of vaccination discussions. The island has several political parties, all of which support vaccination.
High vaccination rates have reaped great rewards in the territory. Puerto Rico’s new daily case rate pales in comparison to rates in all other territories and states.
Nonetheless, a reluctance to politicize vaccines wasn’t the only factor. The island’s healthcare system also played a role.
Bolstered by Puerto Rico’s robust healthcare infrastructure, leaders in the medical field acted swiftly to implement widespread vaccination plans. Hospitals and other medical facilities worked together to offer vaccines as quickly and broadly as possible.
Puerto Rico’s high vaccination rate has allowed the territory to safely welcome tourists — even when tourists are unvaccinated.
However, visitors who can’t provide proof of vaccination must still jump through a few hoops. A negative PCR or antigen test taken within three days of arrival is required from the unvaccinated.
Untested tourists must get tested within two days and quarantine until they get a negative result. If they don’t, they could face substantial fines.
Puerto Rico’s ongoing COVID-19 death toll is down to single digits per day. Many citizens are returning to pre-pandemic habits.
Tourism typically contributes 10% of the island’s GDP, so reduced tourism in 2020 hit Puerto Rico hard. However, record hotel room tax revenue in 2021 proves that visitors are once again flocking to the territory.