White House Says 50 Percent of Americans Now Fully Vaccinated. A White House official said Friday that half of the total population of the United States has now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus.
Cyrus Shahpar, the White House COVID-19 Data Director, provided the update in a tweet, in which he noted that on Friday alone, over half a million Americans got their first shot.
More than 821,000 vaccine doses were administered on Friday, he said, while the seven-day average of newly vaccinated people rose 11 percent over the past week and 44 percent over the past two weeks, in a possible sign that the Biden administration’s efforts to push shots in arms are bearing fruit.
President Joe Biden and senior officials in his administration have promoted vaccines as the key to beating the pandemic and returning to normal life.
Besides setting a goal of 70 percent of adult Americans getting the jab by July 4, a target met about a month late, Biden has also urged states and local governments to offer $100 payments to the newly vaccinated as an incentive, while also seeking to enlist community and social media “influencers” to help persuade the vaccine hesitant.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s (KFF) most recent vaccine monitor survey, 14 percent of American adults said in July they will “definitely not” get a COVID-19 vaccine, a share that has held relatively steady since December.
One example of the Biden administration seeking to leverage star power in its vaccination campaign involved singer and actress Olivia Rodrigo addressing the public from the White House briefing room in July.
“It’s important to have conversations with friends and family members encouraging all communities to get vaccinated,” Rodrigo said at the time, adding that she was “humbled to be here today to help spread the message about the importance of youth vaccination.”
Rodrigo also featured in a video of herself and White House medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci reading fan tweets about getting the shot.
“I got my first dose of the Fauci ouchie,” Fauci read out one of the tweets.
“Olivia RodriGO to the vaccine clinic,” Rodrigo read another, before commenting, “very true—all the funny puns as long as you’re getting vaccinated.”
White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients touted progress in vaccination rates, saying at a Thursday briefing that “we have more than doubled the average number of people newly vaccinated each day over the past three weeks in the states with the highest case rates.” He added that states that have been lagging in vaccination were picking up the pace, with Zients singling out Tennessee and its 90 percent increase in first shots over the past two weeks, Oklahoma with an 82 percent increase, and Georgia with a 66 percent rise.
“Clearly, Americans are seeing the impact of being unvaccinated and unprotected, and they’re responding by doing their part, rolling up their sleeves and getting vaccinated,” Zients said.
The White House official also said the Biden administration was “spurring action on vaccination requirements,” including the president announcing the prior week that all federal workers and federal contractors would be subject to a vaccine mandate.
He also noted Biden’s push for local authorities and businesses to mandate vaccines, saying that, “already, we’re seeing momentum in vaccination requirements across the country,” while giving examples like nearly 650 colleges and universities requiring on-campus staff and students to get the shot.
“America’s businesses, large and small; universities and medical schools; and many other institutions are stepping up on vaccination requirements,” Zients said.
Vaccine mandates have become a hot-button issue, with advocates welcoming them as a measure to help stem the spread of the CCP virus and protect vulnerable populations, while opponents object on a range of grounds, including that the vaccines are currently under emergency use authorization and that mandates infringe on personal liberties.
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