Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.
The United States has reached a pandemic milestone of 100 million fully vaccinated adults, White House officials announced at a briefing Friday.
“That’s 100 million Americans with a sense of relief and peace of mind knowing that after a long and hard year, they’re protected from the virus,” said Jeff Zients, COVID-19 response director. “Knowing their decision to get vaccinated protects not just themselves, but also protects their families, their friends, and their communities.”
He added, “A hundred million Americans who can follow the new CDC guidance released this week and enjoy going to the park with their family, dining and socializing with their friends outside, and many more outdoor activities without needing to wear a mask.”
That 100 million amounts to almost 40% of U.S. adults. A total of 55% of adults now have at least one shot, up from 38% at the end of March and 19% at the end of February, he said. The number of fully vaccinated adults has nearly doubled since the end of March.
The news comes on the heels of updated guidance from the CDC giving vaccinated Americans more freedoms. According to the new guidelines, fully vaccinated people can gather outside in uncrowded activities without masks.
Meanwhile, about 8% of Americans who have received one dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine did not get their second shot, according to top COVID-19 expert Antony Fauci, M.D.
Fauci stressed the importance of completing both shots, particularly when it comes to protection against variants like B.1.351 ― from South Africa ― and B.1.1.7 from the U.K., which is now the dominant strain in the United States.
“Bottom line of my message: get vaccinated,” Fauci said, “and if you’re having a two-dose regimen, make sure you get that second dose.”
White House COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team, press briefing, April 30, 2021