Half of all adults in the U.S. have received at least one Covid-19 shot, the government announced Sunday, marking another milestone in the nation’s largest-ever vaccination campaign but leaving more work to do to convince skeptical Americans to roll up their sleeves, Politico reports.
Almost 130 million people 18 or older have received at least one dose of a vaccine, or 50.4% of the total adult population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. Almost 84 million adults, or about 32.5% of the population, have been fully vaccinated.
The U.S. cleared the 50% mark for adults just a day after the reported global death toll from the coronavirus topped a staggering 3 million, according to totals compiled by Johns Hopkins University, though the actual number is believed to be significantly higher.
The country’s vaccination rate, at 61.6 doses administered per 100 people, currently falls behind Israel, which leads among countries with at least 5 million people with a rate of 119.2. The U.S. also trails the United Arab Emirates, Chile and the United Kingdom, which is vaccinating at a rate of 62 doses per 100 people, according to Our World in Data, an online research site.
The states with the highest vaccination rates have a history of voting Democratic and supporting President Joe Biden in the 2020 election: New Hampshire at the top, with 71.1%, followed by New Mexico, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine, CDC data show.
Included in the vaccination total are millions of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine; use of that vaccination has been paused because of six cases of unusual blood clots. More than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been given in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects.
Authorities stressed they have found no sign of clot problems with the most widely used Covid-19 vaccines in the United States — from Moderna and Pfizer.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, appearing on multiple TV news shows Sunday morning, said he expected that the J&J shots would resume soon, with warnings and/or restrictions.
Vaccination rates do not always align with how states vote. But polling from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research has shown trends that link political leanings and attitudes about the vaccines and other issues related to the pandemic, which has killed more than 566,000 people in the U.S.
A poll conducted in late March found that 36% of Republicans said they will probably or definitely not get vaccinated, compared with 12% of Democrats. Similarly, a third of rural Americans said they were leaning against getting shots, while fewer than a fourth of people living in cities and suburbs shared that hesitancy.
Overall, willingness to get vaccinated has risen, polling shows.
In January, 67% of adult Americans were willing to get vaccinated or had already received at least one shot. The figure has climbed to 75%, according to the latest AP-NORC poll.
Nationwide, 24% of Black Americans and 22% of Hispanic Americans say they will probably or definitely not get vaccinated, down from 41% and 34% in January, respectively. Among white Americans, 26% now say they will not get vaccinated. In January, that number was 31%.
Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said the goal is to get community figures, from athletes to clergy, to encourage vaccinations, particularly as the seven-day national average of cases remains over 60,000 new infections per day.