White House says half of total US population fully vaccinated

Half of the total U.S. population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, a White House official said Friday.

White House Data Director Cyrus Shahpar announced in a tweet that 50 percent of all Americans are fully vaccinated as part of an update on daily vaccination data.  

The updated data showed more than 821,000 doses were administered, including 565,000 people getting their first shot, in the past day. The seven-day average of newly vaccinated people rose 44 percent in the past two weeks, suggesting more unvaccinated people are getting their shots.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website updated its vaccination count late Friday afternoon showing that more than 165 million people had been fully vaccinated against the virus. More than 193 million, or 58.4 percent of all Americans, have gotten at least one dose.

The percentage includes all ages of Americans, including those younger than 12 years old who are not yet eligible to get the vaccine. CDC data shows that 58.5 percent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated against the virus. 

The achievement comes slightly more than six months into President Biden’s tenure, and the administration has promoted vaccination as the way to return to pre-pandemic life. 

It also comes days after the U.S. reached Biden’s threshold of 70 percent of adults with at least one dose of a vaccine, although that was accomplished almost a month after his Fourth of July goal. 

White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients highlighted the “significant” rise in vaccinations during a Thursday briefing, saying the daily rate reached its highest level since early last month. A majority of those doses were the patients’ first shots. 

“Clearly, Americans are seeing the impact of being unvaccinated and unprotected, and they’re responding by doing their part, rolling up their sleeves and getting vaccinated,” Zients said.

Vaccinations had slowed down after hitting a peak in mid-April of about 3.3 million doses per day. But data shows an uptick in doses administered in recent weeks after that number had stagnated at about 500,000 per day. Friday’s seven-day average of doses reached more than 699,000, according to Our World in Data.

But the 50 percent figure indicates the U.S. still has progress to make to combat the virus, especially as cases, hospitalizations and deaths have surged across the country amid the spread of the delta variant. 

The CDC considers more than 85 percent of counties to be undergoing “substantial” or “high” spread, where the agency has recommended fully vaccinated people wear masks in public indoor spaces. 

Seven states with some of the lowest vaccination rates made up about half of the new cases and hospitalizations in the U.S. in the past week, despite making up a quarter of the population, Zients said Thursday.

Florida and Texas account for one-third of the U.S.’s new cases and more than one-third of the country’s new hospitalizations.

Updated 5:34 p.m.

Tags CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus COVID-19 COVID-19 vaccine Jeff Zients Joe Biden Pandemic Vaccine White House

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