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North Dakota ranks 45th in the U.S. for fully vaccinated residents

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FILE – In this April 3, 2020 file photo, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, where e he announced a pilot project to identify positive cases of COVID-19 earlier to slow the spread of Coronavirus in North Dakota. Burgum is pleading for citizens to get vaccinated against the coronavirus as North Dakota’s hospitals struggle to handle the influx of patients infected with the highly contagious delta variant. Burgum brought together health professionals from around the state Wednesday in his first COVID-19 briefing in more than five months. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, file)

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota ranks 45th in the country in the percentage of residents who are fully vaccinated and officials say the numbers are particularly worrisome in the western part of the state.

There are 22 counties, all in the eastern third of the state, with vaccination rates of at least one dose between 50% and 60%.

Of the remaining 31 counties, only two have rates more than 50%, with many numbers much lower than that.

That is quickly translating into higher incidents of COVID-19.

Republican Gov. Doug Burgum says politicization of the virus has led to the “death of the expert” and people don’t know who to trust about vaccines. He suggests people talk with their doctors.

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