The White House revealed Tuesday that half of the adult U.S. population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, per CNN.
“This is a major milestone in our country’s vaccination efforts,” White House senior COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt said during today’s briefing. “The number was 1 percent when we entered office Jan. 20.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports over 129 million adult Americans are fully vaccinated, with nearly 159 million receiving at least one dose. Earlier this month, Joe Biden outlined his goal of getting 70 percent of U.S. adults fully vaccinated by July 4. Currently, more than 61 percent are at least halfway there.
In order to meet that mark, the Biden administration continues to try to appeal to those who are still dealing with vaccine hesitancy. “Find whatever reason you want to get vaccinated. For those not sure yet, do your homework, talk to your doctor or your pharmacist. All concerns are reasonable, but do yourself a favor: Don’t let some guy on Facebook answer your question when good answers are available,” Slavitt said.
An NPR/Marist poll found last month that one in four Americans said they would refuse to take the vaccine if it was offered to them, with another five percent saying they were still “undecided.”
The CDC issued a report addressing concerns about the recent occurrence of “breakthrough” COVID-19 cases among fully vaccinated people. Of the 101 million individuals who had received both doses, there were about 10,300 breakthrough infections reported, which amounts to one in every 10,000 people. Moderna and Pfizer reported 94.1 and 95 percent effectiveness, respectively, at preventing COVID-19 after two doses. While these numbers are encouraging for people yearning to go back to normal life, the vaccine isn’t a cure-all and these companies have been forthright about that reality.
On Sunday, Johns Hopkins University found that the seven-day average of new infections is the lowest in nearly a year, an encouraging sign that the vaccine is working as states across the country loosen mask and social distancing restrictions while also ramping up efforts to get back to life as it was prior to the pandemic.