CDC: Half of US adults have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose

Roughly half of U.S. adults have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released Saturday.

Across the country, more than 128 million people ages 18 and older have received at least one shot, with more than 82 million fully vaccinated with one of the three vaccines approved for emergency use in the U.S., the CDC said.

Overall, 49.7 percent of U.S. adults have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the data, and nearly a third are fully vaccinated.

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The milestone comes a day after the CDC announced that 30 percent of U.S. adults had been fully vaccinated, a percentage likely to increase rapidly over the next few weeks following President Biden’s decision to open up vaccine eligibility to all Americans ages 18 and older by Monday.

Three vaccines have received emergency authorization in the U.S. — inoculations by Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson — though federal officials this week recommended a pause in administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to six reported cases of blood clots out of more than 6.8 million people who received the shot.

Johnson & Johnson scientists on Friday said there is currently “insufficient” evidence of a “causal relationship” between its single-dose vaccine and the brain blood clot known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. The U.S.-recommended pause has raised concerns about the progress of vaccine distribution as well as vaccine hesitancy.

CDC Director Rochelle WalenskyRochelle WalenskyChicago to require masks in schools Florida reports highest daily COVID-19 cases since January Overnight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade MORE said Friday that an independent advisory panel will meet again next week to resume discussions on whether to continue the pause of the Johnson & Johnson shot. 

The distribution pause has already had an impact on public perception of the vaccine, with an Economist-YouGov poll released Thursday showing that just 37 percent indicated that they believed the inoculation was safe, down from 52 percent who said the same prior to the announcement. 

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Despite the concerns about the shot’s safety, Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade Writer: Fauci, Paul clash shouldn't distract from probe into COVID-19 origins S.E. Cupp: 'The politicization of science and health safety has inarguably cost lives' MORE, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said Wednesday that he believed the halt could actually diminish vaccine hesitancy by showing how seriously federal agencies are taking vaccine safety.

The updated vaccination figures released Saturday come after officials pushed for larger swaths of the country to get vaccinated. Fauci told Business Insider in an interview last week that between 70 percent and 85 percent of the American population would need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity. 

The U.S. has had a more effective vaccine distribution than some other countries, especially in Europe, where the World Health Organization earlier this month said the vaccine rollouts have been “unacceptably slow.” 

Even amid the increase in vaccinations, cases and deaths across the globe continue to persist, with the world surpassing 3 million coronavirus-related fatalities on Saturday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

The U.S. has had the most reported COVID-19 deaths by far of any country with more than 566,000, according to the tracker, followed by Brazil with more than 368,000 deaths and Mexico with more than 211,000.