Half of the US population has now received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine before the Memorial Day long weekend, helping to push the rate of new coronavirus infections to an all-time low in one year
More than 166 million Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, equivalent to 50.1% of the population, data from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed on Friday. The rate of fully vaccinated people in the country, at 40.2%, is among the highest in the world, according to the FT’s vaccine tracker.
Immunization rates have slowed, however. The seven-day average of administered doses dropped below 1.5m on March 23 (the last day for which CDC data is available). It was the first time since February 22 that the rate has been below that mark and also represents a reduction by more than half from a peak rate of over 3.3 million doses per day in mid-April.
Despite this, the daily rate of coronavirus infections continues to decline. In the week ended May 27, the United States recorded an average of 20,882 new cases per day, according to CDC figures on Friday, which is the lowest level since June 1 of last year. The previous time, the United States averaged less than 20,000 cases per day, that was March 31, 2020.
Vaccines are a crucial part of helping the United States avoid a repeat of last year’s summer, especially as state economies open up and the CDC has relaxed its guidelines on wearing the. mask for fully vaccinated people.
The Memorial Day holiday, which falls on the last Monday in May and is often marked by social gatherings, was seen by many public health officials last year as the launching pad for a wave of infections coronavirus which has hit many states in the Sunbelt hard over the summer.
Anthony Fauci, as a senior member of the White House coronavirus task force, had observed that the United States was struggling to reach a manageable “baseline” level of infections in late spring. “We capped at around 20,000 cases per day before we entered the resurgence,” he said last July when the number of daily cases exceeded 70,000.