Covid-19 Live Updates: 100 Million Americans Are Fully Vaccinated But Concerns




100 Million People in the U.S. Are Fully Vaccinated, White House Says

Jeffrey D. Zients, the White House’s Covid-19 response coordinator, said on Friday that 100 million people in the United States have been fully vaccinated for Covid-19, a number representing nearly 40 percent of adults.

Today, 100 million Americans are fully vaccinated, nearly double the 55 million who were fully vaccinated at the end of March. That’s 100 million, nearly 40 percent of all adult Americans who are now fully vaccinated with protection from Covid-19, two weeks after getting their last shot. That’s 100 million Americans with a sense of relief and peace of mind, knowing that after a long and hard year, they’re protected from the virus. Knowing their decision to get vaccinated protects not just themselves, but also protects their families, their friends and their communities. A hundred million Americans who can follow the new C.D.C. guidance released this week, and enjoy going to the park with their family, dining and socializing with their friends outside and many more outdoor activities without needing to wear a mask.

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Jeffrey D. Zients, the White House’s Covid-19 response coordinator, said on Friday that 100 million people in the United States have been fully vaccinated for Covid-19, a number representing nearly 40 percent of adults.CreditCredit…Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Federal health officials said Friday that more than 100 million people in the United States had been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, a milestone that represents almost 40 percent of the nation’s adults. But concern continues to build among health officials over reaching more people who have not received shots.

The 100 million mark is almost double what the nation had registered at the end of March. The federal government also shipped its 300 millionth dose this week, according to Jeffrey D. Zients, the White House’s Covid-19 response coordinator.

The Biden administration is beginning a critical stage of its vaccination campaign that requires finding ways to inoculate those who remain hesitant or skeptical, or have had trouble accessing a vaccine. Officials repeatedly emphasized at a White House news conference on Friday that the “next phase,” as Mr. Zients referred to it, called for targeted, local and personalized efforts. President Biden recently called on employers to give workers paid time off to get vaccinated.

Polls have shown resistance to the vaccine is more deeply rooted among white people who live in rural areas, especially those who vote Republican, or describe themselves as evangelical Christians. Campaigns aimed at Black and Latino communities have made striking gains, though public health experts have said obstacles to access deserve much of the blame for disparities seen in their vaccination rates.

As of Friday, providers were administering about 2.55 million doses per day on average, about a 25 percent decrease from the peak of 3.38 million reported on April 13, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And some regions of the country — particularly the South — were lagging well behind others.

The reasons for the decline in the pace are still not entirely clear. Mr. Zients acknowledged that the overall number of daily vaccinations would now “moderate and fluctuate,” and that there would be “more of a balance between supply and demand.” Nearly 30 million doses were shipped this week.

Signs of possible dips in demand have led some public health experts to fear a general plateauing of interest.

“This is one of these all hands on deck moments, when each of us needs to look around in our communities and our families and our circle of friends, and ask people if they have a plan to get vaccinated,” Dr. Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general, said on Friday.

To continue the momentum of the campaign, officials said the government was working to make it easier for Americans to get inoculated at doctors’ offices and at walk-up sites without an appointment.

“We know that around 80 percent of people who are trying to decide about a vaccine say that they want to talk to their doctor about that decision. And we’ve heard that loud and clear,” Dr. Murthy said, adding that the Biden administration would say more soon about efforts to get vaccines to people through their physicians.

Mr. Zients said 90 percent of doctors had received at least one dose, pointing to the statistic as a way to help reassure people about vaccines.

Dr. Murthy said the government was als
o working with social media companies to eliminate misinformation about the vaccines. Later on Friday, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said that the Biden administration’s approach to counteracting vaccine misinformation is to “provide and flood the zone with accurate information” and will invest $3 billion in public campaigns to that end.

“I think that they have work to do,” Dr. Murthy said. “We still have way too much disinformation spreading on those sites. And it presents a clear and present danger, I believe, to people who need to be protected from Covid and who could potentially get vaccinated.”

Linda Qiu contributed reporting.

An international terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport in January.
Credit…Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Biden administration said on Friday that it would begin restricting travel to the United States from India, where a devastating coronavirus outbreak is claiming over 3,000 lives each day.

Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said in a statement that the move was done on the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and that it would go into effect on Tuesday. The travel restrictions will not apply to citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States, their spouses or minor children or siblings, or to the parents of citizens or lawful permanent residents who are younger than 21 years old.

“The policy will be implemented in light of extraordinarily high Covid-19 caseloads and multiple variants circulating in India,” she said.

Months ago, India appeared to be weathering the pandemic. After a harsh initial lockdown, the country did not see an explosion in new cases and deaths comparable to those in other countries. But after the early restrictions were lifted, many Indians stopped taking precautions. Large gatherings, including political rallies and religious festivals, resumed and drew millions of people.

Doctors and news reports have cited anecdotal — but inconclusive — evidence to suggest that a homegrown variant called B.1.617 is driving the country’s outbreak and that people who have been fully vaccinated are getting sick. But researchers say that data so far suggests that another variant that has spread widely in Britain and the U.S., the highly contagious B.1.1.7, may also be a significant factor.

One in five coronavirus tests are coming back positive in India, but experts fear the true toll is much higher.

Several Indian states said they could not fulfill the government’s directive to expand vaccinations to all adults beginning on Saturday because they lacked doses. Only a small fraction of the country has been vaccinated so far.

In the past 24 hours, U.S. military cargo planes began the first deliveries of emergency supplies promised to India by the Biden administration, with shipments of small oxygen cylinders, large oxygen cylinders, regulators, pulse oximeters, about 184,000 rapid…

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