70 percent of US adults now vaccinated with at least one dose
The White House on Monday said 70 percent of adults have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, almost a month after President Biden’s original goal of reaching that mark by July 4.
The vaccination campaign has slowed compared to the spring months, as hesitancy and even resistance to the vaccine has created a major obstacle for public health officials. But vaccination numbers are starting to tick up amid new outbreaks fueled by the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19.
The seven-day average of newly vaccinated people is the highest since July 4, White House COVID-19 data director Cyrus Shahpar said on Monday.
The country is averaging about 660,000 vaccinations per day, according to Our World in Data, up from about 500,000 on July 20.
Still, that figure is well below the peak from April, when the country was averaging over 3 million shots per day.
The U.S. has also fallen behind other industrialized nations when it comes to vaccine rates. The European Union said on Tuesday that 70 percent of its adults had received at least one dose.
Amid U.S. resistance in some quarters, experts are increasingly calling for employers to mandate vaccines for their workers, as one of the only remaining ways to boost vaccinations.
Biden began to encourage such steps last week when he said that federal workers would need to get vaccinated or else get tested regularly.
Full approval of the vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration could also encourage holdouts to get the shot, and some experts are calling on the agency to move faster in its process.
A Monmouth poll released Monday found that 17 percent of Americans remain opposed to getting the vaccine, of which 70 percent align with Republicans and just 6 percent align with Democrats.
Several conservative media personalities and lawmakers have expressed skepticism about the vaccine. Others, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have been strongly urging people to get vaccinated.