The United States reached another coronavirus pandemic milestone on Tuesday, and this time it's a positive one as the nation works to emerge from its widespread outbreak; half of all U.S. adults are now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus as the nation enters the summer season.
Now, more than 129 million U.S. adults are fully vaccinated--meaning they have received two doses of either the Pfizer
At the nation's current vaccination rate of about 1.6 million doses administered on average per day, the U.S. will be able to meet President Joe Biden's goal of getting 70% of adults to receive at least their first dose of a COVID vaccine by July 4, which is the country's celebrated Independence Day. With about six more weeks to go, at least nine states have already reached that 70% threshold and only 10 states are below 50% vaccination rate for their adult population, according to CNBC.
Along with the increased national vaccination rates, the U.S. is beginning to see an easing of its COVID infection rate after the nation suffered through its outbreak for more than a year and a half. The nation still leads the world in total number of confirmed cases and deaths with nearly 33 million cases and more than 587,000 fatalities.
"We continue to see decreases in the COVID-19 cases nationwide," said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky during a White House press briefing on Tuesday. "Our seven-day average is 22,877 cases per day. This represents yet another decrease of about 25% from the prior seven-day average and reflects seven consecutive days with our seven-day average below 30,000 cases a day. The seven-day average of hospital admissions is 3,080, a decrease of almost 17% from the prior seven-day period. And seven-day average daily deaths have also declined to 501 per day."
Beyond the U.S. adult population, the nation has vaccinated nearly 40% of its total population as more adolescents above the age of 12 recieve a regime of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that was authorized recently by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in children between the ages of 12 to 15. Moderna announced on Tuesday that its vaccine is 100% effective in adolescents and plans to seek FDA authorization in the next few weeks.