Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, said the U.S. will meet its goal of Americans receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by July 4, as new daily cases, deaths and hospitalizations have kept falling at a rapid pace.
Fauci’s comment, which was made on ABC’s “Live with Kelly and Ryan” on Monday, comes as the number of vaccines administered increased to more than 301.6 million, according to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It’s really good news,” Fauci said. “We want to, and we’re going to hit 70% of the adult population by the Fourth of July.”
The number of Americans receiving at least one dose grew to 170.83 million, while the number of people fully vaccinated increased to 138.97 million, or 41.9% of the total U.S. population.
In the U.S., being fully vaccinated means it has been two weeks since the second of the two-dose vaccines developed by Pfizer Inc.
and its Germany-based partner BioNTech SE
or Moderna Inc. have been administered, or it’s been two weeks since receiving one dose of Johnson & Johnson’s
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently available for 12-year-olds.
“If you’re over 12, got get vaccinated,” said first lady Dr. Jill Biden, also on “Live with Kelly and Ryan.”
Moderna said Monday that it has submitted for conditional market approval (CMA) with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for its COVID-19 vaccine children ages 12 years to less than 18, and said it has filed for emergency authorization with Health Canada and for Emergency Use Authorization with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Separately, Moderna said it was working with Medison Pharma to commercialize its COVID-19 vaccine across Central Eastern Europe and Israel.
Despite the progress made in vaccinations, Fauci stressed that the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, yet.
“We have to keep going though, guys,” Fauci said. “We can’t prematurely declare victory.”
When asked about vaccinations for children, Fauci said the U.S. will follow a strategy of “age de-escalation,” starting with those aged 12 to 9 years, then from 9 to 6, then from 6 to 2.
“We anticipate by the time we get towards the end of this calendar year, we’ll be able to vaccinate children of any age,” Fauci said. “So we’re getting there.”
Within age groups, 49.6% of Americans who are at least 12 years old are fully vaccinated, as are 52.8% of the U.S. adult population and 75.5% of Americans at least 65 years old.
Among states, Vermont has highest percentage of people fully vaccinated at 53.0%, followed by Massachusetts at 52.3%, according to data provided by Johns Hopkins University & Medicine, while Mississippi is at the bottom at 25.7%, followed by Alabama at 27.5%.
The U.S. leads the world by a wide margin, as the number of people fully vaccinated is more than triple that of second place India at 44.77 million people.
As vaccinations rise, cases keep falling.
There were 6,067 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, according to a New York Times tracker, down from 10,437 cases on Saturday, but keep in mind that those numbers are likely underreported given reduced staffing at hospitals and healthcare centers at weekends.
The seven-day average of new cases declined to 13,927, down 45% from two weeks ago, and the lowest number since March 24.
The number of daily deaths fell to 253 on Sunday from 370 on Saturday, while the seven-day average of 437 was down 22% from two weeks ago.
The seven-day average of hospitalizations declined 19% from two weeks ago to 23,654.
The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness climbed to 173.41 million on Wednesday while the death toll rose to 3,731,405, according to JHU data.
The U.S. leads the world in total cases with 33.37 million and deaths with 597,760.
India continues to get closer to the U.S., with 28,91 million cases, but is third in the world in deaths with 349,186.
Brazil is second in deaths at 473,404, and third in cases with 16.95 million.
The U.K. is fourth in deaths worldwide, and leads Europe, at 28,103, while France leads Europe in cases with 5.77 million.
China, where the virus was first discovered late in 2019, has had 103,176 confirmed cases and 4,846 deaths, according to its official numbers, which are widely held to be massively underreported.