It’s a month later than President Joe Biden had hoped, but 70 percent of U.S. adults have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data released Monday, August 2.
Biden had targeted July 4 as the goal for 70 percent vaccination among adults in May, with federal health officials saying that milestone is an important step toward “so-called herd immunity.” Health experts told CNBC they see 70 percent as a floor rather than a ceiling though, especially as the Delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread.
Vermont, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Connecticut lead the way where more than 80 percent of adults have gotten at least one vaccine shot. In total, 20 states plus Washington, D.C., have passed the 70-percent mark. Mississippi is the lowest in the U.S. at about 50 percent of adults with at least one shot, behind Wyoming (52.2 percent) and Louisiana (53.6 percent). These states are three of the 12 states below the 60-percent mark.
Biden has urged state officials to offer residents $100 cash to get vaccinated.
Last week, the CDC recommended even fully vaccinated Americans resume wearing masks indoors if they’re in areas with high rates of COVID-19 infection. Health officials say coronavirus vaccines are protective against Delta, but fewer Americans have been vaccinated in recent months than before — down to about 660,000 per day compared to 3 million in mid-April, according to the CDC.
An estimated 432,000 first vaccine doses were reportedly handed out each day last week, up almost 25 percent from the previous seven days, the CDC reported.
In New York, bar and restaurant patrons may need to be vaccinated before they can be served. After a “fourfold” increase in daily positive cases, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has asked bar and restaurant owners and other private business leaders to require all patrons to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination before they’re allowed to enter.
All New York MTA and Port Authority employees have until Labor Day to be vaccinated, or they will be required to be tested weekly for COVID-19, per a mandate by Cuomo. State hospital employees also fall under a similar mandate that Cuomo announced last week as the Delta variant continues its upswing.