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Half of the US population is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, White House says

COVID-19 vaccines
Posted at 1:18 PM, Aug 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-06 14:08:41-04

White House officials on Friday reported that 50% of the U.S. population is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Cyrus Shahpar, the data director for the White House COVID-19 response team, tweeted Friday afternoon that the U.S. had surpassed the 50% milestone.

"50% of Americans (all ages) are now fully vaccinated. Keep going!" he tweeted.

The milestone comes as more Americans seek out shots amid the spread of the more contagious delta variant of COVID-19.

On Thursday, during a briefing by the White House COVID-19 response team, coordinator Jeff Zients reported that the U.S. recorded 864,000 vaccinations on Wednesday — the highest single-day vaccination total since July 3.

Zients also noted that there had been a large increase in Americans getting their first vaccine shot, particularly in areas where vaccination rates are low, like Tennessee, Oklahoma and Georgia.

"Clearly, Americans are seeing the impact of being unvaccinated and unprotected," Zients said.

However, the new vaccinations have been prompted by a concerning spike in cases caused by the delta variant. According to the CDC, reports of new cases are higher than they've been since January, and deaths are starting to pick up for the first time since vaccines became widespread.

Health experts have said the vast majority of new hospitalizations and deaths due to the virus are among those who have not been vaccinated. Even with the delta variant circulation, breakthrough cases remain rare, and the vaccines provide near-complete protection from COVID-19 hospitalization and death.