Here’s one of many indications that the coronavirus vaccines are working — and that they’ll continue to have a strong, positive effect on the US as we get deeper into the year and closer to the end of the pandemic.
The US has hit another milestone in the race to vaccinate as many Americans as possible against the COVID-19 virus. According to Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker, 101 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have now been administered here since vaccinations began back in December. The vaccination campaign is currently running at a pace of 2.3 million doses per day, according to an average over the past week, and on Friday, White House senior adviser Andy Slavitt tweeted that a one-day record high of 2.92 million vaccinations was just reached. This all means, among other things, that we’re now five months away from covering enough Americans for us to return to normal, per Bloomberg’s data.
Meantime, evidence also continues to mount that the coronavirus vaccination campaign is having the desired effect. Coronavirus deaths are a consequence of hospitalizations, which themselves follow from newly identified coronavirus cases. And data from the CDC, as you can observe below, shows that hospitalization rates have fallen precipitously for seniors (the people most vulnerable to the worst effects of the COVID-19 virus), which is a result of fewer new cases of the virus, overall.
Hospitalization rates are really plummeting for seniors. Since early January peaks:
– age 65+: down 82%
– age 75-84: down 83%
– age 85+: down 85%https://t.co/iGCpq4OVfg
At current rate*, all groups will fall to a post-March 2020 low within the next two weeks. (*🤞) pic.twitter.com/sMDMxcAhHB
— Derek Thompson (@DKThomp) March 10, 2021
This comes against the backdrop of the fact that 18.4% of the total US population has now received at least one coronavirus vaccine dose, according to NPR — with the country now on track to reach a new goal set by the Biden administration that he laid out in his first prime time address to the nation as president on Thursday night.
Americans who don’t fall into any of the early categories of people who’ve been allowed to get a coronavirus vaccination so far — which means people who aren’t medically vulnerable, first responders, or teachers, for example — now have some clarity around when they’ll be eligible for a vaccine. The Biden administration is telling states they need to open up their vaccine process so that, by May 1, every adult in the US is eligible at that time to get the vaccine.
“That doesn’t mean everyone’s going to have that shot immediately,” Biden said during his speech. “But it means you’ll be able to get in line beginning May 1. Every adult will be eligible to get their shot. And to do this, we’re going to go from a million shots a day that I promised in December before I was sworn in, to maintaining, beating our current pace of 2 million shots a day, outpacing the rest of the world.”
The president did offer the caveat that unforeseen circumstances could derail this timeline, such as the coronavirus variants getting better at beating the protection offered by the vaccines. However, that’s not happening currently, with the three vaccines currently on offer in the US — from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson — all showing varying degrees of an overall strong resilience to the virus.