Aug. 2, 2021 — The United States hit a major vaccine milestone on Monday as 70% of adults now have received at least one dose.
According to White House COVID-19 Data Director Cyrus Shahpar, more than 468,000 doses were delivered Monday.
President Joe Biden had set a goal of July 4 to have all adults get at least one dose. It took just under an extra month to accomplish.
The news comes at a crucial time, as the Delta variant continues to surge.
Each person infected with the COVID-19 Delta variant will transmit the virus to an average of 5 unvaccinated people – more than twice the expected number of infections caused by each case of the original strain, the CDC said.
A person who has contracted the Alpha strain of COVID-19 will infect an average of 2 unvaccinated people, said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, during a White House news briefing Monday.
The greater number of infections caused by each Delta case is another example of its high transmissibility, Walensky said, and the importance of getting vaccinated during yet another surge in cases.
“I want to start today by simply stating the obvious: While we desperately want to be done with this pandemic, COVID-19 is clearly not done with us,” Walensky said. “And so, our battle must last a little longer.”
As of Saturday, the 7-day daily average of new cases was 72,000 a day – up 44% from the previous week, and higher than the peak from last summer, she reported. The 7-day average of hospital admissions was up 41% at 6,200 per day, and the average of daily deaths was about 300 – up 25%.
Despite the increase in cases, the COVID-19 Response Team did have positive news to report: The eight states with highest COVID-19 case rates have seen an average increase of 171% in the number of newly vaccinated people in the last 3 weeks.
Louisiana’s average daily number of newly vaccinated people has seen a 302% spike, with Mississippi’s average increasing 250%, said White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients. Alabama and Arkansas saw increases of 215% and 206%, respectively.
“This increase in vaccination rates in states that have been lagging is a positive trend,” Zients said. “Americans are seeing the risk and impact of being unvaccinated and are responding with action. And that’s what it’s going to take to get us out of this pandemic.”