With declining COVID-19 infection rates and deaths reported across the U.S., more states and cities have lifted restrictions in time for summer. But officials continue to warn that people who are unvaccinated remain extremely vulnerable, especially to dangerous variants that could impact the progress that the United States has made, if they become more widespread.
64% of adults in the country have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine and about 53% are completely vaccinated, yet the White House’s goal of vaccinating 70% of the adults in the United States with at least one dose by July 4 seems unlikely, given the current rate at which people are getting vaccinated. However, the CDC has stated that at least a dozen states have already met that goal.
Vaccine hesitancy, barriers to access, and misinformation about the vaccine are said to be the key contributing factors to reducing vaccination rates in the country, from previous highs.
In five states – Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Wyoming, fewer than half of the adults have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
As officials look to increase the pace of the vaccination, recent data gives further evidence that vaccines are currently some of the best tools to protect against variants of COVID-19 that could otherwise exacerbate the pandemic. Two doses of BioNTech/Pfizer’s vaccine appear to offer decent protection against some of the more worrisome new variants, including the B.1.617.2 or Delta variant that was first seen in India.