Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. Health

Number of fully vaccinated Americans tops 100 million

About 38 percent of all U.S. adults are fully vaccinated and 55 percent have received at least one dose. But 8 percent skipped their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
Brigette Rudisel offers a COVID-19 vaccination at Garlington Health Center in Northeast Portland. The center, run by Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare, was offering COVID-19 vaccinations to qualified individuals Friday. Event organizers were also hoping to reach Portland's homeless population.
Brigette Rudisel offers a COVID-19 vaccination at Garlington Health Center in Northeast Portland. The center, run by Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare, was offering COVID-19 vaccinations to qualified individuals Friday. Event organizers were also hoping to reach Portland's homeless population. [ BETH NAKAMURA | The Oregonian ]
Published Apr. 30
Updated Apr. 30

DALLAS — Disneyland reopened on Friday and cruise lines welcomed the news that they could be sailing again in the U.S. by midsummer, as the number of Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 reached another milestone: 100 million.

Visitors cheered and screamed with delight as the Southern California theme park swung open its gates for the first time in 13 months in a powerful symbol of the U.S. rebound, even though the self-proclaimed Happiest Place on Earth is allowing only in-state guests for now and operating at just 25 percent capacity.

The reopening and similar steps elsewhere around the country reflect increasing optimism as COVID-19 deaths tumble and the ranks of the vaccinated grow — a stark contrast to the worsening disaster in India and Brazil and the scant availability of vaccines in many poor parts of the world.

In fact, the U.S. announced Friday it will restrict travel from India starting Tuesday, citing the devastating rise in COVID-19 cases in the country and the emergence of potentially dangerous variants of the coronavirus.

While the overall number of lives lost to COVID-19 in the U.S. has eclipsed 575,000, deaths have plummeted to an average of about 670 per day from a peak of around 3,400 in mid-January.

Thirty-nine percent of the nation’s adult population has been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over 55 percent of adults have received at least one dose, up from 30 percent a month ago.

However, about 8 percent of those who have gotten one dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine have not returned for their second shot, officials said. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said it is important to complete the course to gain maximum protection against the virus.

“Make sure you get that second dose,” he said at a White House briefing.

Dr. Leana Wen, former Baltimore health commissioner and a visiting professor of health policy at George Washington University, said fully vaccinating about 40 percent of American adults is a great achievement but not enough.

“The hardest part is ahead of us,” she said. “I’m very concerned that we are not going to come anywhere close to reaching herd immunity in 2021.”

Wen noted that Fauci has estimated 70 percent to 85 percent of the U.S. population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.

The immunization drive has slowed in recent weeks, even as shots have been thrown open to all adults. Wen said better weather and falling case counts will make it harder to reach people who have not been vaccinated yet.

“Those people who are on the fence about getting a vaccine may have less reason to get one now because they don’t see coronavirus as an existential crisis anymore,” she said.

CDC officials also reported Friday that it was anxiety — not a problem with the shots — that caused fainting, dizziness and other reactions reported in 64 people at vaccine clinics in five states in early April. None got seriously ill.

Cruise lines, meanwhile, cheered the news that the CDC is committed to resuming sailing in the U.S. by midsummer and is adjusting some of the rules to speed the process.

The CDC said in a letter to the industry this week that it will let ships cruise without going through practice trips first if 98 percent of the crew and 95 percent of the passengers are fully vaccinated.

“The voices of community leaders and the wider cruise community are being heard — and we are very grateful for that,” said Laziza Lambert, spokeswoman for the Cruise Lines International Association.

U.S. cruises have been shut down by the pandemic since March 2020.

In other travel news, the Transportation Security Administration extended a requirement that passengers on planes, trains and buses wear masks. The rule was set to expire May 11 but will now run through Sept. 13. Airlines and their unions had pushed for an extension, saying masks help keep passengers and workers safe.

In Michigan, which in recent weeks became the worst hot spot in the U.S., the numbers are finally showing improvement, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a plan to tie the lifting of restrictions to the state’s vaccination rate.

In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday he expects to see preventive measures lifted and the city “fully reopen” by July 1. “We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open, offices, theaters, full strength,” he said on MSNBC.

But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has maintained throughout the crisis that such decisions are his alone, and he said Thursday he would like to end restrictions even sooner.

“I don’t want to wait that long. I think if we do what we have to do, we can be reopened earlier,” he said.

Cuomo said on Friday that New York City can increase indoor dining to 75 percent of capacity starting May 7.

By Associated Press Writers David Koenig, Amy Taxin and Mae Anderson, who reported from New York, Taxin from Anaheim, Calif.

• • •

Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage

CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDA: Find the latest numbers for your county, city or zip code.

NEED A VACCINE? Here's how to find one in the Tampa Bay area and Florida.

VACCINES Q & A: Have coronavirus vaccine questions? We have answers, Florida.

GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information.

GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information.

A TRIBUTE TO THE FLORIDIANS TAKEN BY THE CORONAVIRUS: They were parents and retirees, police officer and doctors, imperfect but loved deeply.

HAVE A TIP?: Send us confidential news tips

We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on the coronavirus in Florida. This effort takes a lot of resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a print or digital subscription.