SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The United States has reached a vaccination milestone on Friday: 50% of the population, all ages, are now fully vaccinated, the White House COVID-19 data director confirmed.
This comes as vaccinations against COVID-19 significantly ramped up in recent weeks. The data director, Cyrus Shahpar, also tweeted that new vaccinations are up by 44% in the last two weeks.
Reports of the more contagious delta variant of COVID-19 prompted employers in the public and private sectors to require their employees to be fully vaccinated.
Although there have been breakthrough cases, which means fully vaccinated individuals contracting COVID-19, health officials maintain that the large majority of positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths are now impacting people who are unvaccinated.
Vaccine breakthrough cases are expected. COVID-19 vaccines are effective and are a critical tool to bring the pandemic under control. However, no vaccines are 100% effective at preventing illness in vaccinated people. There will be a small percentage of fully vaccinated people who still get sick, are hospitalized, or die from COVID-19.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC reports that the last documented 7-day average for new COVID-19 hospital admissions, July 21–July 27, increased by 46.3% from the prior week.
The CDC also now recommends that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear face masks inside public spaces when they are in an area of substantial transmission.
However, health experts say the best protection is getting vaccinated. The CDC said “there is some evidence that vaccination may make illness less severe for those who are vaccinated and still get sick.”