One step closer to normality: White House announces that 70% of Americans are fully vaccinated and 80% have had one shot – which puts the nation closer to herd immunity
- 70 percent of Americans now fully vaccinated with 80 percent having one shot
- Yet new guidelines issues last week suggest masks be worn indoors to reduce transmission of the highly contagious Delta variant
- Goal of reaching 70 percent vaccinated is one month behind Biden’s schedule
- FDA has approved Pfizer vaccine to be given to children aged 5-11 with CDC expected to give final approval later this week
- COVID-19 cases and deaths are trending downward in the U.S. most likely, in part, due to the effectiveness of the vaccines
The U.S. has reached the goal of having 70 percent of the adult population vaccinated and more than 80 percent have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Jeff Zients, chief of the White House coronavirus task force noted the statistical benchmark showed how the the country was making strides in fighting the pandemic.
The 70 percent goal comes a month later than President Biden had hoped.
70 percent of Americans now fully vaccinated with 80 percent having one shot
New guidelines issues last week suggest masks be worn indoors to reduce transmission of the highly contagious Delta variant (file photo)
Yet despite reaching the figure, restrictions are still being suggested for those in public places indoors and on public transport.
Federal health authorities issued new guidelines last week that urged even fully vaccinated people to wear masks insides because breakthrough cases of the Delta variant might be able to transmit the virus onward.
The announcement was tweeted by Cyrus Shahpar, COVID-19 data director for the Biden administration. ‘Let’s continue working to get more eligible vaccinated!’, Shahpar wrote.
Shahpar detailed how more than 935,000 vaccine doses were administered in the past day, including 240,000 initial shots and 571,000 additional doses and boosters.
He announced by the end of Monday, about 20 million Americans will have received a booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
It comes just as shots are preparing to be given to children aged between 5 and 11 is imminent with final approval set for Wednesday or Thursday.
Dr. Jeff Zients, White House Covid-19 coordinator noted the statistical benchmark showed how the the country was making strides in fighting the pandemic.
White House announced on Monday that 70 percent of adults in the U.S. are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and that 80 percent of adults have received at least their first shot
‘These are important milestones,’ Zients said. ‘We know vaccines are the very best tool we have to accelerating our path out of the pandemic.’
The Food and Drug Administration has approved children-sized doses of the Pfizer vaccine for children 5 to 11. The Centers for Disease Control is expected to give the final approval later this week.
Millions of doses of the vaccine will be farmed out across a network of 20,000 pediatricians, drug stores and community health centers within hours of being approved.
The administration has purchased enough of the Pfizer vaccine to inoculate all 28 million children who are eligible.
The FDA is reviewing the Moderna vaccine designed for children. There has been a delay with the company examining a possible rare heart risk.
‘Bottom line: we’ve been planning and preparing for this moment,’ Zients said. ‘We are ready to execute pending CDC’s decision.’
Jeff Zients, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, disclosed the statistics during a press briefing Monday morning, saying that the U.S. has ‘hit two important milestones.’
COVID-19 cases and deaths are trending downward in the U.S. most likely, in part, due to the effectiveness of the vaccines.
Zients explained that reduced numbers of those being infected and dying from coronavirus reflect the success of the vaccines themselves and mandates which have pushed Americans to get their shots.
Biden had initially used Independence Day for the country to return to a life of normality, but the goalposts suddenly shifted as the highly contagious Delta variant began to spread.
Pressure was once again placed on hospitals and areas that had low vaccination rates with areas in the south including Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas hit hard.
But as cases increased, so too have vaccination rates in areas where infections were high including Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana and Florida.
The Delta variant is know to be far more contagious than previous forms of the virus.
Although infections in those who have been vaccinated people is still relatively uncommon, those who do get infected are better protected against the most severe symptoms of the illness and from dying.
WHAT IS ‘HERD IMMUNITY’?
Herd immunity is the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection.
Effectively, it means that once people have some form of immunity, it reduces the ability of a disease to spread among the population.
Therefore, someone who has antibodies either through previous infection or vaccines, acts as a ‘barrier’ to the virus.
If you have enough ‘barriers’ then the disease cannot effectively spread through a population.
But in the case of a new virus, such as with Covid-19, the virus can spread essentially without any barriers – which can lead to a pandemic.
The World Health Organisation says it supports achieving herd immunity through vaccination, not by allowing a disease to spread through any segment of the population.
But one expert told DailyMail.com that Covid-19 is here to stay and that the key is reaching a ‘herd immunity threshold’.
This keeps the virus at what is known as an endemic level – where a disease is regularly found among the population but is not harmful enough to impact on society.
Keeping Covid-19 within the herd immunity threshold, which can vary particularly in winter when diseases such as flu and coronavirus spread quickly, will mean it is kept at a ‘manageable level’, the expert added.
Research shows the current crop of Covid vaccines help by increasing the antibody response to the virus – therefore heavily reducing the risk that someone can be made seriously ill.
But data is not yet available about how effective the vaccinations are at preventing transmission.