US COVID-19 vaccinations fall to lowest level per day since 2020
The number of COVID-19 vaccinations per day in the United States has fallen to the lowest level since the early days of the campaign in 2020, despite many Americans not having received their booster shots.
The seven-day average of vaccine doses of all types given in the U.S. fell to 127,000 per day this week, according to figures from Our World in Data. That marks a steady decline since January, when more than 1 million shots per day were being administered.
The Washington Post reported earlier on Friday, citing its own data, that vaccinations had fallen to 182,000 per day.
While the number of Americans with two doses has risen to 75 percent of adults, the numbers for booster shots lag behind that.
Booster shots are particularly important in the face of the omicron variant, which has a greater ability to evade the protection from two doses of the vaccine.
About half of the eligible U.S. population still has not received a booster dose, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
That leaves the U.S. more vulnerable to a potential new increase in cases, as is starting to happen in Europe, even with higher booster rates in many countries.
The U.S. is now considering the possible need for fourth doses, at least in certain groups such as the elderly. But the lagging rates of booster doses could not bode well for the uptake of another dose.
“Periodic reminder that US booster coverage is terrible, especially considering most in this group are not opposed to vaccines in general and many are high risk (age or otherwise),” Jason Schwartz, a professor at the Yale School of Public Health, tweeted earlier this week. “Seems like there’s a sense of resignation here, even as fierce debates about masks, etc., roll on.”