With quickened vaccination pace, US races against COVID variants
Over the weekend, the United States administered 4 million COVID-19 vaccines on a single day, a new record that comes as the country has settled into administering an average of 3.1 million shots per day.
“As of today, nearly 1 in 3 Americans and over 40% of adults have at least 1 shot,” said Andy Slavitt, the White House senior advisor for COVID response. “One in four adults are fully vaccinated. But the worst thing we could do right now is mistake progress for victory.”
The country is witnessing a race that pits an aggressive vaccination strategy against increasingly transmissible variants of the virus, including B117, a variant first detected in the United Kingdom.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID Data Tracker shows that 207,891,295 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered in the United States, 165,053,746 doses have been administered, and 61,416,536 Americans are fully vaccinated.
In order to continue vaccinating all eligible Americans, Slavitt said the Biden administration is opening five more mass vaccination sites, including one at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
Cases increasing in younger adults
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, said the country is now entering the fourth consecutive week of rising case counts. The new weekly average is 64,000 cases per day, up 7% from the prior 7-day period. Deaths have dropped to an average of 800 per day, but hospitalizations are once again creeping up.