The United States has become the first nation to inoculate 100 million people with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to updated data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Nearly 158 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, while almost 58 million people are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC’s vaccine tracker.
The figures, as of April 2, show that 101,804,762 people in the United States—or 30.7 percent of the population—have received at least their first dose.
After announcing on March 11 that every adult in the United States would be eligible for vaccination no later than May 1, President Joe Biden said last week that the expanded availability of vaccines means that the time frame has been compressed.
“At least 90 percent of all adults in this country will be eligible to be vaccinated by April 19, just three weeks from now, because we have the vaccines,” Biden said in remarks at the White House. “For the vast, vast majority of adults, you won’t have to wait until May 1,” he said, noting that the remaining 10 percent would be eligible for a shot on May 1.
But despite progress in vaccinations, new infections in the United States are on the rise, with the seven-day moving average of daily infections now over 79,000, up from around 53,000 earlier in March, according to Johns Hopkins data.
Biden has urged continued vigilance and not letting up on public health measures such as social distancing and wearing masks.
“I plead with you, don’t give back the progress we’ve all fought so hard to achieve,” Biden said at a press briefing on April 2. “We need every American to buckle down and keep their guard up in this home stretch.”
At a White House health briefing last week, Biden and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky both voiced dire warnings that too many Americans were easing COVID-19 protocols.
Walensky said she had a feeling of “impending doom” at the rising cases of COVID-19, while Biden said if that continued, the United States could see a “fourth surge.”
To fight against “COVID-19 fatigue,” to persuade people not to ease up on mitigation measures, and to overcome vaccine hesitancy, the Biden administration has teamed up with influencers—including community, religious, and celebrity partners—to spread the word.
Besides urging Americans to get a COVID-19 jab, the coalition of “trusted influencers”—which includes athletes, doctors, business people, and faith-based community leaders—will continue to promote the message that people shouldn’t let up on measures such as social distancing and mask-wearing.
The administration is also working on guidelines around the use of so-called “vaccine passports,” which are credentials like cards or apps that serve as proof of having received a COVID-19 shot.
The Biden administration has said the federal government won’t come up with a national vaccine passport app, leaving development to the private sector, but the federal government is formulating regulations for how and when those passports can be used.
The issue of vaccine passports has become a hot-button topic, with conservatives expressing concern over privacy.