Covid vaccinations in the United States are rising again, and Biden administration officials are eagerly spreading the news.
“First time we’ve had four days in a row, over 700K shots, in a long stretch,” President Biden’s chief of staff, Ronald Klain, proclaimed on Twitter. “About 3m people got their first shot the past seven days – also a significant increase.”
Data from the White House and The New York Times appear to confirm this. On each of the three days from 28 to 30 July, more than 700,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines were delivered in the US – including 856,919 shots on 30 July. On 31 July, according to the White House’s Covid-19 data director, Cyrus Shahpar, over 712,000 doses were delivered.
That trend continued on Saturday, when the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said another 816,203 people were vaccinated, a fifth straight day of more than 700,000 shots in arms.
There has not been that long a stretch of days surpassing 700,000 shots since late June.
President Biden himself has crowed over the news.
“We had a good day yesterday. Almost a million people got vaccinated,” the president said on 30 July. “And so, I’m hopeful that people are beginning to realize how essential it is to do.”
The news has not all been positive, however. As the Delta variant of the virus continues to tear across less vaccinated states, the country’s seven-day average of new cases has been increasing. Dr Anthony Fauci lamented that trendline on Sunday, saying the situation is likely to get worse if more people don’t get vaccinated quickly.
“I think we have enough of the percentage of people in the country – not enough to crush the outbreak – but I believe enough to not allow us to get into the situation we were in last winter,” Dr Fauci told ABC’s This Week. “But things are going to get worse.”
Back in early May, Mr Biden set a national goal of getting 70 per cent of American adults at least partially vaccinated by 4 July. As that date approached, the nation seemed on track to achieve this, but then stalled at about 68 per cent. Almost a full month after Independence Day, that number remains at just 69.6 per cent.
Last week, the president outlined a slew of new incentives for Americans to get vaccinated, including $100 payments for getting the shot. He also said federal employees would be required to get vaccinated or undergo regular coronavirus tests.
“I know that paying people to get vaccinated might sound unfair to folks who’ve gotten fully vaccinated already,” Mr Biden said. “But here’s the deal: If incentives help us beat this virus, I believe we should use them.”