Half of all American adults are officially fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, marking significant progress since the vaccines were first authorized in December.
CDC data updated on Tuesday shows that 50 percent of Americans 18 and older are considered fully vaccinated, amounting to more than 129 million people.
“This is a major milestone in our country's vaccination efforts,” White House senior COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt said at a press briefing, noting that 1 percent of adults were fully vaccinated when the Biden administration came into office.
Slavitt cited that 25 states and Washington, D.C., have reached at least 50 percent of their adult population being fully vaccinated. Nine states have hit at least 70 percent of adult residents being fully vaccinated.
The achievement symbolizes a step closer to President BidenJoe BidenHaiti prime minister warns inequality will cause migration to continue Pelosi: House must pass 3 major pieces of spending legislation this week Erdoğan says Turkey plans to buy another Russian defense system MORE’s next goal of getting 70 percent of adults to have at least one vaccine dose by the Fourth of July. Currently, 61.6 percent of American adults, or almost 159 million people, have reached this point.
The agency designates people as fully vaccinated two weeks after their second Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shot or two weeks after their single Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
These updated numbers mean that half of adults are cleared under CDC guidelines to not wear a mask in most indoor and outdoor settings. The agency still recommends those who are not fully vaccinated wear a mask indoors.
The U.S. is also nearing half of its total population having received at least one dose of the vaccine, with 49.5 percent of Americans getting at least one shot.
Almost 40 percent of the total population, including children under 12 who are not yet authorized to get the vaccine, are considered fully vaccinated.
Amid the nation’s push to get more of the population their COVID-19 shots, vaccinations have dwindled in recent weeks as the most enthusiastic vaccine recipients have already gotten their shots.
The U.S.’s seven-day average for daily vaccinations fell from about 3 million in April to 1.8 million currently, according to Our World in Data.
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were first given emergency authorization in December about a month before former President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE left office. Early in the vaccination effort, certain groups of adults, such as health care workers and elderly people, were prioritized for vaccines.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was granted emergency authorization in February.