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Puerto Rico is now the most vaccinated place in the US

Oct. 26, 2021
3 min read
Puerto Rico beaches
Puerto Rico is now the most vaccinated place in the US
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Puerto Rico has weathered a lot in recent years, from Hurricane Maria -- the worst storm in decades, which killed thousands and destroyed most of the island’s power grid -- to earthquakes and a debt crisis.

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The island also hasn’t been spared from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it's still quietly vaccinated the majority of its residents.

According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, a whopping 73% of Puerto Ricans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. That figure is higher than every state in the United States and the District of Columbia, including jurisdictions with high vaccination rates like Vermont and Maine. And broken down further, the figures are even more phenomenal.

The New York Times, which has tracked COVID-19 vaccinations nationwide, reported that 99% of Puerto Ricans 65 and older are fully vaccinated.

So, how did Puerto Rico do it? Accessibility was one factor, as nurses brought vaccines to residents’ doorsteps. Among other sectors, employees of restaurants, gyms and grocery stores are also required to be vaccinated. According to the CDC, the Puerto Rico National Guard also developed a vaccine distribution inventory system, and information about the COVID-19 vaccines was distributed online in Spanish.

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"Puerto Rico has been committed to health and safety throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and is leading the tourism industry’s recovery," said Brad Dean, the CEO of Discover Puerto Rico, the island's destination marketing organization.

"Our priority to safeguard both residents and visitors has built confidence in this space," the statement continued, "translating to an increase in demand for the destination. Having the highest vaccination rate in the U.S. is a significant milestone, and we thank the exceptional community in Puerto Rico for their commitment to health, safety and economic prosperity."

After a surge caused by the highly transmissible delta variant in August and an earlier surge in April, cases in Puerto Rico have sharply decreased. Cases, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 have fallen on the island, with the 14-day death rate dropping 48%. The CDC just lowered its travel advisory from the highest level, 4, to level 3.

Puerto Rico also implemented guidelines for travelers to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Fully vaccinated travelers on domestic flights must upload their official COVID-19 vaccination card through the Travel Declaration Form portal.

Unvaccinated arrivals and those arriving on international flights, regardless of vaccination status, must provide a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival. Travelers who arrive without a test must upload a test taken on the island within 48 hours of arrival or face a $300 fine. (Travelers don’t have to provide a negative COVID-19 test result to return to the mainland from Puerto Rico, as it’s a U.S. territory.)

Puerto Rico saw a massive resurgence in travel to the island this spring and summer, like other destinations popular with tourists. But this saw tourists flouting the island’s COVID-19 requirements and an alarming increase in violent incidents, which led to extra police patrols assigned to popular tourist areas such as Old San Juan.

Featured image by Getty Images/EyeEm
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023