Mar. 15, 2021 -- The United States has put more than 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine into the arms of Americans since the first vaccination on Dec. 14, a milestone in the government’s accelerating mass vaccination program.
After an adjusted data synching over the weekend, the CDC’s vaccine tracker as of Monday morning indicates that more than 107 million doses have been administered. The figures show that 37 million adults are now fully vaccinated – 11.3% of the total population and 14.5% of the adult population. Almost 27% of the adult population has received at least one dose of vaccine.
A little more than 35% of the population over age 65 -- one of the most vulnerable demographics -- is fully vaccinated now. More than 63% of the over-65 group has gotten at least one dose.
A White House official reiterated Friday that the administration is on track to meet President Joe Biden’s goal of having vaccines available for all American adults by May 1.
“That is more than enough vaccine supply to vaccinate all adult Americans by the end of May,” White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said at a news briefing. “Now we need to ramp up the number of vaccinators, as we’ve been talking about, and the number of places where Americans can get vaccinated.”
Speeding up the COVID-19 vaccination program was one of the president’s goals. His administration has called for increased production of vaccines, big community vaccination centers in low-income neighborhoods, and widespread use of pharmacies for vaccinations.
Biden set a goal of 1 million doses per day, but the government is now averaging about 2 million vaccinations daily. On Friday, more than 2.9 million doses were given, according to a tweet from the White House advisor on coronavirus response, Andy Slavitt.
At the current pace the administration is expected to reach its goal of 100 million vaccinations administered during Biden’s first 100 days in office. The 100 million vaccine mark reached Friday includes 16.5 million doses administered under the Trump administration, CNBC. reported.
Three vaccines are being administered after receiving emergency use authorization from the FDA -- the two-dose Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines and the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The makers of the Astra Zeneca vaccine say they’ll soon seek EUA in the United States.
But as vaccinations increase and coronavirus-related deaths decline, health officials warn problems still lie ahead.
The current vaccines don’t work as effectively against the coronavirus variants, especially the one from South African, as they do against the original virus strain.
And vaccine hesitancy still exists, especially among minorities.
About 40% of Americans still haven’t made a firm decision about vaccination, according to an Ad Council/Ipsos Public Affairs poll done in February. The poll also showed that only 40% of people in Black and Hispanic communities said they have enough information to make a decision about getting a vaccine, as compared with 60% of the overall population.