World|The U.S. finally hits its 70 percent vaccination goal — four weeks late.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/02/world/covid-vaccination-goal-70-percent.html

Credit…Mario Tama/Getty Images

The United States on Monday finally reached President Biden’s goal of having 70 percent of eligible adults at least partly vaccinated.

The milestone came a month later than the president had hoped as the country faced the rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

There was no celebration at the White House. The announcement today was made on Twitter by Cyrus Shahpar, the COVID-19 data director for the Biden administration. “Let’s continue working to get more eligible vaccinated!” Mr. Shahpar wrote.

Video

transcript

transcript

White House: 70% of U.S. Adults Have At Least One Covid Shot

The White House Covid-19 response team said the United States reached President Biden’s goal of having 70 percent of eligible adults partially vaccinated. The milestone came a month behind schedule, amid a surge in Delta variant infections.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen a nearly 70 percent increase in the average number of new people getting vaccinated each and every day. In the last seven days alone, three million Americans have gotten their first shot. That’s the highest seven-day total since July 4th. And just today, we hit 70 percent of adults with at least one shot, including 90 percent of seniors with at least one shot. These are significant milestones in our fight against the virus. And it’s very important to note in the states with the highest case rates, daily vaccination rates have more than doubled … As of July 26, the C.D.C. received 6,587 reports of breakthrough infections that resulted in hospitalization or death, among 163 fully vaccinated million people. That is a percentage of 0.01 percent or less. And when you look at the breakthrough cases, the percent of breakthrough cases in multiple locations, like D.C. and Virginia, the percent ranges from 0.26 to 0.03. So I’m sorry that was left out. The bottom line is they are rare and they rarely result, not rarely, but unusually result in hospitalization or death.

The White House Covid-19 response team said the United States reached President Biden’s goal of having 70 percent of eligible adults partially vaccinated. The milestone came a month behind schedule, amid a surge in Delta variant infections.

The White House had hoped to announce the 70 percent vaccination benchmark four weeks ago. Mr. Biden initially used Independence Day to declare a victory of sorts over the pandemic and some kind of return to normal life.

But that goal evaporated in recent weeks as the Delta variant spread rapidly, putting pressure on hospitals in regions with low vaccination rates, including many politically conservative areas in the south. Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas, for instance, have been hard hit, swamping hospitals.

In recent weeks, there has been an uptick in the vaccination rate in some states where cases have crested. Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana and Florida have seen steady increases.

The Delta variant is much more contagious than other forms of the virus, and may cause more severe disease, according to an internal presentation circulated recently within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Experts say that infections in vaccinated people are still relatively uncommon, and even in those cases, the vaccines currently authorized in the United States appear to provide protection against severe illness and death.

Last week, federal health authorities issued new guidelines urging fully vaccinated people to wear masks indoors because breakthrough cases of the Delta variant might be able to transmit the virus onward.

After missing the self-imposed July 4 deadline, Mr. Biden initially sought to shift some responsibility to social media platforms like Facebook, saying they were “killing people” by allowing disinformation about the coronavirus vaccine to spread. He later walked back those comments.

Originally posted on https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/02/world/covid-vaccination-goal-70-percent.html