Image source: CVS Health
At least 25 states, plus Washington, DC, have now fully vaccinated at least half of their adult residents against COVID-19, according to new data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Those states are Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
By contrast, fewer than 40% of adults in Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana and Georgia are fully vaccinated.
As of Monday, 158 million adults (61.3% of the population age 18 and up) have received at least one dose of a vaccine, while 128 million (49.8%) are fully vaccinated.
President Joe Biden’s goal is to get that number to 70% by July 4.
Almost six months into its vaccine rollout, the US is starting to see some of the lowest COVID-19 metrics in roughly a year.
The seven-day average of new infections is about 23,500 per day as of Sunday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, down 24% from a week ago and 57% from last month. The country’s daily death toll, currently 550 per day, is the lowest since July 2020.
During a briefing Friday, Andy Slavitt, the White House’s senior COVID-19 advisor, said that while the numbers are promising, public health officials must continue pushing for higher vaccination rates to ensure continued improvement in the months ahead.
“The impact has been everything we could have hoped for, given the power of vaccines,” he said. “Across the country, cases of COVID-19, serious illness and loss of life are all down dramatically. And, they can be brought down even further and the risk of a future wave in your community significantly reduced if we keep up the pace of vaccinations.”
Former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Scott Gottlieb recently told CNBC that vaccines are not the only reason why cases are declining.
During an interview on “Closing Bell,” Gottlieb said other factors, such as warmer weather and the fact that a portion of the unvaccinated population has already been infected with the virus, are contributing to the downward trajectory.
He also said that even though many states have lifted pandemic-related restrictions, such as capacity limits and social distancing requirements, some Americans have not yet returned to pre-COVID-19 behavior, which has also helped with case reductions.
Gottlieb added, “I think we’re going to have a very quiet summer with respect to coronavirus spread and then have to contend with it again as we head into the winter.”
Source: Equities News