Aug. 20, 2021 -- The pace of COVID-19 vaccinations keeps rising, with more than 1 million doses of vaccine administered in the United States on Thursday, including 562,000 people getting their first dose, White House COVID-19 Data Director Cyrus Shahpar said on Twitter.

Thursday was the first day more than 1 million vaccinations have been given in the U.S. in seven weeks, he said, noting it was a 31% week-over-week increase in the daily average of people completing the vaccine series. National vaccinations have slowed since hitting a peak of around 3 million in mid-April.

The increase in vaccinations is occurring in sections of the nation with large numbers of unvaccinated people. The unvaccinated make up most of the new COVID-19 cases, which are largely caused by the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Oklahoma and Louisiana, which have low vaccination rates, now have higher rates than the national average, White House Covid-19 Response Team Chief of Staff Asma Mirza said in calls with local faith leaders Thursday, according to CNN.

"We're seeing a new willingness, a new openness to getting vaccinated," she said.

Despite the rise in vaccinations, the United States has a long way to go. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Protection says only 60.2% of the entire U.S. population has gotten at least one vaccine dose and only 51.1% is fully vaccinated.

Among people over 12 years old, 70.4% have gotten one dose and 59.8% are fully vaccinated. Among people over 18 years old, 72.5% have gotten at least one dose and 62% are fully vaccinated. Among people over 65 -- the most vulnerable age group -- 91.1% have gotten at least one dose and 81% are fully vaccinated.