Dec. 9, 2021 – Americans are being vaccinated against COVID-19 at the highest rate since last spring, Jeff Zients, Covid-19 response coordinator for the White House, said at a news conference Tuesday.
In the past week, a total of 12.5 million COVID vaccinations were given, said Zients, the highest number since May.
Last Thursday was a particularly difficult day for vaccinations with 2.18 million doses administered, the White House said. This included 1.04 million booster vaccinations, 678,000 new vaccinations and 186,000 children aged 5 to 11 who were fully vaccinated.
“We are now vaccinating people in numbers that we have not seen since spring,” said Zients. “And that is a decisive step forward when we go into winter and face the new Omicron variant.”
The booster program is gaining traction, Zients said, noting that 7 million booster vaccinations were given last week, more a day than ever before.
Health officials say the arrival of the Omicron variant spurred people to get vaccinated. This variant has been discovered in 50 countries and 19 states, with that number expected to increase, CDC director Rochelle Walensky, MD, said at the news conference.
However, the delta variant is still the main problem, accounting for more than 99% of the cases now discovered in the United States, she said.
“Right now we’re seeing about 100,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the United States every day,” Walensky said. “We must act together right now to address the impact of the current cases we are seeing, which are mostly Delta, and prepare for the possibility of more Omicron.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 71.4% of the total U.S. population has received at least one dose of vaccine since the first vaccine was approved in mid-December 2020.
According to the CDC, 60.4% of the population are fully vaccinated and 24.4% have received a booster vaccination.
In the most vulnerable age group, people over 65, the numbers are better. According to the CDC, 99.9% of these seniors have received at least one dose, 86.9% are fully vaccinated, and 48.6% have received a booster dose.