US COVID-19 Vaccinations Surpass Known Cases

Carolyn Crist

March 10, 2021

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

The U.S. has reached a key milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, with more Americans fully vaccinated than the total number of people who have tested positive for the virus.

More than 31.4 million people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the latest CDC numbers. As of Tuesday morning, 29 million people have tested positive for the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Throughout the pandemic, the U.S. has reported more cases and deaths than other countries. As of Tuesday morning, more than 525,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S., followed by 266,000 in Brazil and 190,000 in Mexico.

At the same time, the U.S. has led the charge on vaccinations with its 31 million total and another 30 million people who have received their first dose. Israel, which follows behind the U.S. in vaccination numbers, has fully vaccinated nearly 4 million people, according to Insider.

As one of the most populous countries in the world, the U.S. has a longer road to herd immunity than others. As of Tuesday, about 9.5% of the country has been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC, which puts it in ninth place globally in terms of total percentage vaccinated. The small British territory of Gibraltar is at the top of the list with 46% of the population vaccinated.

The CDC released new guidance on Monday for those who are fully vaccinated, which allows for small gatherings with other fully vaccinated people and visits with unvaccinated people from a single household who face low risks for severe COVID-19.

The guidance is tied to the country's vaccination rate and will be updated as more people become vaccinated, Andy Slavitt, the COVID-19 senior adviser for the Biden administration, told CNN. At 20-30%, new guidance will be issued.

Messaging will also shift, Slavitt said, which will describe activities within a range of low, medium or high risk.


CDC: "COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States," "Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People."

Johns Hopkins University: "COVID-19 Dashboard."

Insider: "US coronavirus vaccinations have surpassed the country's number of known COVID-19 cases."

CNN: "CDC guidance tied to vaccination rate, senior White House adviser says."