Half of Americans are now fully vaccinated, White House says

Half of People, together with all ages, at the moment are totally vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19, a White Home official mentioned Friday, a serious milestone because the nation battles a surge in new infections fueled by the delta variant.

Greater than 821,000 doses have been administered over the day before today’s whole, together with 565,000 individuals who received their first shot, White Home Covid information director Cyrus Shahpar mentioned in a tweet earlier than the info was printed on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention’s web site. The seven-day common of latest vaccinations is up 11% from final week and 44% over the previous two weeks, he added.

Whereas the milestone is thrilling, the nation nonetheless has a protracted solution to go earlier than the pandemic is over, mentioned Dr. Paul Offit, who advises the Meals and Drug Administration on Covid vaccines. The extremely contagious delta variant continues to unfold quickly, significantly in areas of the nation with the bottom vaccination charges, he mentioned.

“You had one thing like 100,000-plus instances and greater than 600 deaths yesterday, which tells us that we’re not there but,” Offit mentioned.

The U.S. is reporting a median of about 98,500 each day infections, information compiled by Johns Hopkins College reveals, already surpassing the height in instances seen final summer time when the nation didn’t have a vaccine.

Florida, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi — states with a few of the lowest vaccination charges — accounted for about half of latest Covid instances and hospitalizations previously week, Jeffrey Zients, the White Home’s Covid response coordinator, informed reporters Thursday. Over the previous seven days, 1-in-3 new Covid instances occurred in Florida and Texas.

In Florida, the place Gov. Ron DeSantis is resisting requires extra restrictions, an infection ranges are nearing the state’s pandemic peak in late January, when a median of almost 18,000 new instances per day have been being reported.

Florida is reporting a median of about 15,800 each day new instances over the previous seven days, in line with information compiled by Johns Hopkins College, up 51% from per week in the past. That is the second-worst outbreak within the U.S. ranked by common each day new instances per capita, behind solely Louisiana.

The loss of life toll there may be additionally on the rise at a median of 58 each day Covid deaths, up 45% from final week however beneath the report seven-day common of greater than 180 each day deaths in late January.

The outbreak threatens to gradual the nation’s progress in ending the pandemic, particularly as faculties reopen and employers start to convey employees again to the workplace this fall, well being specialists say.

With the virus circulating extensively in states corresponding to Florida, the nation is “more likely to see much more worrying variants emerge this fall and winter,” mentioned Lawrence Gostin, director of the World Well being Group’s Collaborating Heart on Nationwide and World Well being Regulation.

“America is so near getting again to regular. This may very well be a serious setback to our nationwide Covid response,” he mentioned.

As instances rise, extra companies are requiring their employees to get vaccinated, and federal well being officers say they’re urging states to supply incentives to their residents.

Some People are already seeing the impact of being unvaccinated and at the moment are getting the pictures, U.S. officers mentioned Thursday.

In Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, the seven-day common of each day reported first doses has greater than doubled because the begin of July, CDC information reveals, because the outbreak has worsened nationwide. In Arkansas, which is seeing the third-worst outbreak within the nation based mostly on each day new instances per capita, vaccinations have almost tripled.

Zients mentioned Thursday that the White Home Covid Surge Response Groups are additionally working with 16 states which have rising instances to deal with their particular wants.

— CNBC’s Nate Rattner contributed to this report.

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