Half of the adults in the United States will be fully vaccinated against Covid by the end of the day, a White House official said Tuesday.
The latest milestone in the sweeping effort for the U.S. to inoculate its way out of the pandemic comes as infections and deaths from Covid fall to lows the nation has not seen for nearly a year.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden set the goal of getting 70% of adults to receive at least their first dose of a Covid vaccine by the Fourth of July. The president said his hope was for the U.S. to “celebrate our independence as a nation, and our independence of this virus,” by Independence Day.
With nearly six weeks left until Biden’s self-imposed deadline, nine states have already hit that 70% threshold.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine tracker showed Monday that 49.8% of the U.S. population ages 18 or older have been fully vaccinated, and 61.5% of that group have had at least one dose.
Among people in the U.S. ages 65 and up, who face far greater health risks from Covid, 74% have been fully vaccinated, the CDC’s tracker shows.
The CDC’s numbers were expected to be updated later Tuesday to reflect the White House’s announcement.