New data shows that 19 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19
At this point, it’s safe to say that all of us are probably experiencing at least some level of pandemic fatigue, having entered our second calendar year since COVID-19 was officially declared a global pandemic. Thankfully, brighter days appear to be on the horizon, thanks to the widespread rollout of three COVID vaccines that will hopefully help slow the spread of the virus and prevent serious illness, hospitalizations, and deaths for those who do catch the virus.
Newly released New York Times data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that as of Tuesday, April 6, 19 percent of Americans — roughly 62.4 million people — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with an average of more than three million doses distributed each day. For a vaccine that didn’t even exist a year ago, it’s certainly something to feel hopeful about in the fight against COVID and its variants.
If 19 percent doesn’t sound like a particularly high number, consider that 40 percent of Americans have already received one dose of the vaccine, which will already help protect from serious illness. And President Biden is pushing ahead with plans to make the vaccine available to the vast majority of adults — the Biden administration bumped up its original deadline of May 1 to April 19, which means that in a matter of weeks, 90 percent of those aged 16 and older can schedule their appointments.
Still, we’re not out of the woods yet, and COVID-19 is still claiming the lives of hundreds of Americans each day, with close to 70,000 new cases still being reported each day in the U.S. Officials fear a rise in cases due to the Easter and Passover holidays, as well as the new variants that seem to be more infectious than the original virus, as states continue to reduce mask mandates and other protective measures against community spread.
At our current vaccination rate, it will take another three months for 75 percent of Americans to be fully vaccinated, with experts estimating that herd immunity will take between 70 to 90 percent of people. It seems the Biden administration is doing everything they can to reduce those timelines and get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible, and given that the U.S. just reported the lowest number of COVID-19 deaths in a year on Easter Sunday, it seems we are getting there — slowly, but surely.
The only surefire ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 include wearing masks, keeping a safe physical distance from those outside your household, frequent hand washing, and — of course — getting a vaccine as soon as it’s available to you. These simple precautions are what will save lives and put us back on the track to a post-pandemic world, which we’re all more than ready to experience.