US to achieve full vaccinations for half of adults on Tuesday: WH official

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The U.S. on Tuesday is expected to reach a huge milestone with its COVID-19 vaccination effort, with half of the nation’s adults becoming fully vaccinated, a White House official said.

Monday data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that 49.8 percent of Americans over 18 years old have been fully vaccinated, amounting to more than 128 million people. 

A person is considered fully vaccinated in the U.S. two weeks after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or two weeks after receiving the only dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

President Biden’s next target is to ensure that 70 percent of adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine by the Fourth of July. A total of 61.5 percent of American adults, or more than 158 million, have received at least one dose of a vaccine, according to the CDC’s Monday data. 

But vaccinations have slowed in recent weeks after the most eager vaccine recipients received their shots. The U.S. administered about 3 million shots per day in April before dropping to about 1.8 million per day, according to Our World in Data.

In recent weeks, states have instituted incentives, including lotteries, to encourage residents who haven’t yet gotten their COVID-19 shot. 

Officials from the Biden administration have said they are concentrating on expanding access to the vaccine to help those who face obstacles in getting the shot and on easing any concerns of potential recipients. 

The news also comes as vaccines are expanding to younger populations, with the Pfizer-BioNTech shot being available to anyone 12 or older after receiving Food and Drug Administration emergency authorization for 12- to 15-year-olds last month.

Moderna released study results on Tuesday finding its vaccine 100 percent effective among those aged 12 to 17. The company plans to submit the data to regulators, including the FDA, in the coming days. 

The U.S. is also nearing half of its total population having received at least one dose of the vaccine, as Monday’s data shows 49.4 percent of Americans have reached this point.

Almost 40 percent of the total population, including children under 12 who are not yet authorized to get the vaccine, are considered fully vaccinated.


Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 COVID-19 vaccine herd immunity Joe Biden Pandemic Vaccine

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