White House COVID-19 response team coordinator Jeff Zients on Friday announced that 100 million people in the U.S. have now received their final shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Zients said that as of Friday, 100 million Americans had either received their second vaccination shot of either Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines or a single shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Those 100 million people represent about 30% of the U.S. population.
"That's 100 million Americans with peace of mind," Zients said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers a person “fully” vaccinated two weeks after their final shot.
According to the CDC, about 44% of the entire U.S. population has received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. Notably, 82% of Americans aged 65 and older — a group at high risk of contracting the virus — have gotten at least one shot.
But according to Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker, the U.S. has been distributing fewer vaccine doses each day for the last two weeks. After distribution peaked at a seven-day average of 3.37 million doses a day on April 13, the country is now distributing an average of 2.63 million.
The decline is likely due to supply outstripping demand. The Biden administration ordered states to begin administering vaccines to anyone over the age of 16 earlier this month, meaning there was an initial rush of Americans seeking out vaccine doses that has since tapered off.
"It's not unexpected that there be more of a balance between supply and demand...what's unexpected is how fast we've gotten here," Zients said during Friday’s briefing.
Dr. Vivek Murthy, the U.S. Surgeon General, said all Americans should take the roll of encouraging friends and loved ones to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
"It's up to all of us stepping up in our own roles in society," Murthy said.
But while COVID-19 cases are falling in the U.S. upon widespread vaccination, cases are on the rise again throughout the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The rise has been accelerated by a frightening outbreak in India, which saw a record 386,000 new cases of the virus on Thursday. The country has seen at least 300,000 new cases each day since April 21, and as many as 3,000 people are dying each day.
While the U.S. has not yet instituted a ban on travel to India, Zients noted Firday that the U.S. has testing requirements in place for travelers entering the U.S. from foreign countries. He added that the best defense for the U.S. against India’s outbreak was to vaccinated Americans as quickly as possible.
The White House has already announced plans to distribute 60 million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine — a vaccine not yet approved for use in the U.S — and Biden on Tuesday said the country will send treatments like remdesivir, as well as equipment that will help the country to begin manufacturing its own vaccines.
The COVID-19 response team said this week that it will begin briefing the media twice a week, after several months of holding briefings three times a week.
Friday’s virtual briefing will take place at 11 a.m. ET.