White House: US COVID-19 Vaccination Rates Climbing

Ralph Ellis

December 09, 2021

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

Americans are getting vaccinated against COVID-19 at the highest rate since last spring, Jeff Zients, White House Covid-19 response coordinator, said at a Tuesday news briefing.

In the last week, 12.5 million total COVID shots were given, Zients said, the highest number since May. ​​

Last Thursday was an especially heavy day for vaccinations, with 2.18 million doses given, the White House said. That included 1.04 million booster shots, 678,000 newly vaccinations, and 186,000 kids 5-11 fully vaccinated.

"We're now vaccinating people in numbers that we haven't seen since the spring," Zients said. "And that's critical progress as we head into the winter and confront the new Omicron variant."

The booster program is gaining momentum, Zients said, noting that 7 million booster shots were given last week, more per day than ever before. 

Health officials say the arrival of the Omicron variant appears to have spurred people to get vaccinated. That variant has been detected in 50 countries and 19 states, with those numbers expected to increase, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, said at the news conference. 

However, the Delta variant is still the major problem, accounting for more than 99% of the cases now detected in the United States, she said.

"Right now, we're seeing about 100,000 new cases of COVID-19 each day in the United States," Walensky said. "We must act together in this moment to address the impact of the current cases we are seeing, which are largely Delta, and to prepare ourselves for the possibility of more Omicron."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 71.4% of the total U.S. population has gotten at least one dose of vaccine since the first vaccine was authorized in mid-December 2020.

The CDC says 60.4% of the population is fully vaccinated and 24.4% has gotten a booster shot.

In the most vulnerable age group, people over 65, the numbers are better. The CDC says 99.9% of those seniors have gotten at least one dose, 86.9% are fully vaccinated, and 48.6% have gotten a booster.

Sources:

The White House. "Press Briefing by White House COVID-19 Response Team and Public Health Official"

Twitter: @cyrusshahpar46, Dec. 2, 2021

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Covid Data Tracker

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