Half of all U.S. adults will receive at least one coronavirus vaccine dose by the end of the weekend.
Currently, 41.7 percent of Americans aged 18 or older have gotten at least an initial shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
But on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time on Tuesday, Andy Slavitt, the White House senior adviser for COVID-19 response, said he expects the pace of immunizations to rapidly accelerate over the next five days.
‘We’re on track that by the weekend, half the adults in the country will have had their first shot,’ Slavitt said.
As of Wednesday, 108.3 Americans, or 32.6 percent of the population, have received at least one dose of vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson.
Additionally, 63 million people, 19 percent of the population, are fully immunized with an average of three million Americans being vaccinated every day.
The accelerated pace prompted Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, to declare that the U.S. does not need any doses of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
Andy Slavitt, the White House senior adviser for COVID-19 response, said on Tuesday that half of all U.S. adults will be have received at least one coronavirus vaccine dose over the weekend. Pictured: 97 million adults who’ve gotten at least one dose
Currently, 41.7% of Americans aged 18 or older have gotten at least one shot, but Slavitt says he expects distribution to ramp up over the next few days as an average of three million are vaccinated every day
It comes on the heels of President Joe Biden’s announcement that all adults will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines by April 19 as 32.6% of the population have received at least one dose
Slavitt’s announcement came just hours after President Joe Biden announced all U.S. adults should be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines by April 19.
That date is two weeks earlier than his previous target of May 1.
‘No more confusing rules, no more confusing restrictions,’ Biden said.
‘Many states have already opened up to all of those, but beginning April 19th.. every adult in this country is eligible to get to the line to get a COVID vaccination.’
However, just because every adult is eligible does not mean every adult will able to schedule an appointment.
Slavitt noted that the majority of those most vulnerable to COVID-19’s severe complication have at least partial immunity.
‘We’ve got about 76 percent of seniors that have had their first shot,’ he told CNN.
‘Now what’s going to happen in the next couple of weeks, is we really need to make sure that more seniors get their shots, because starting on the 19th, we’re going to have some more floodgates again. We’re going to have more people coming.’
Even with more supply needed as more adults are eligible to get vaccinated, Fauci reiterated to CNN on Wednesday a point he made last week that the U.S. doesn’t need any more vaccines.
‘We have three excellent vaccines,’ the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases said.
‘Even if the FDA deems that this vaccine is a very good vaccine, we don’t need yet again another very good vaccine. We have enough very good vaccines.’
On Wednesday, Dr Anthony Fauci (pictured) said the U.S. does not need any doses of the vaccine developed by AstraZenenca and the University of Oxford
Fauci argued that the U.S. has ordered enough doses from American-based companies and will have even more once Novavax’s vaccine is approved. Pictured: Vial of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, March 29
The federal government has already ordered 300 million doses of the two-shot immunization, 4.2 million of which were loaned to Canada and Mexico, where the vaccine is already approved.
Several European countries halted use of the vaccine after a few reports of patients developing blood clots – in a few cases, deadly.
The European Medicines Agency concluded on Wednesday that there is a link between the jab and blood clots, but that the side effect is rare.
AstraZeneca plans to apply for emergency use authorization in the US during the first half of April.
But Fauci said the U.S. has enough doses from American-based companies, and more to come from the yet-approved Novavax, that he doesn’t believe the U.S. need to use AstraZeneca doses.
‘There is no plan to immediately start utilizing the AstraZeneca [vaccine] even if it gets approved through the EUA, which it very well might. It’s not any indictment against the product. We just have a lot of vaccines,’ Fauci told CNN.
‘We already have contracted for enough vaccines, from Moderna and from Pfizer and from J&J, to fulfill all of our needs as well as even having doses for boosters in case we want to boost them a little later on.
The U.S. is expanding coronavirus vaccine access to community health centers to more than 1,400 across the country, which will help increase vaccine administration in underserved communities. Pictured: Angel Morales, 21, is given a COVID-19 vaccine from medical tech Monica Lopez at the Bell Community Center, April 5
It comes as the U.S. plans to expand coronavirus vaccine access to community health centers across the country in an effort to distribute shots to underserved communities.
‘To help meet our goal of ensuring Americans have a vaccine site within five miles of where they live and to advance equitable distribution of the vaccine, we’re announcing today that we’re expanding our Community Health Center vaccine program,’ Slavitt said during a press briefing on Wednesday.
This will increase the number of community health centers distributing vaccines from 950 to more than 1,400.
The majority of these centers have been vaccinating racial and ethnic minorities in an attempt to distribute shots more equitably.
‘Increasing access to vaccines among those hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic is critical. By adding to the number of community health centers participating in this program, we will help make sure shots are getting to those who need them most,’ Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.
‘This expansion will ensure every community health center in the country can be a part of our vaccination effort.’