The United States took a major milestone in its vaccination efforts on Wednesday, with new data showing that nearly 25 percent of adults in the country have been fully vaccinated.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also shows that 40 percent of adults and 75 percent of seniors have received at least one dose.
The country’s vaccination efforts against Covid-19 began in December after the emergency authorization of a vaccine by US drug maker Pfizer and German company BioNTech. This effort was significantly accelerated with the addition of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
States like Illinois and California have linked their plans to reopen to the success of vaccination efforts, which determine when it’s safe to resume large gatherings.
Some states, like New Mexico, South Dakota and Alaska, have surpassed the national average and have fully immunized more than 30 percent of their adult populations, according to CDC data.
After his election, President Joe Biden pledged 150 million hits would be delivered in his first 100 days. In March, he raised that target to 200 million. Since then, the country has regularly administered 2-3 million shots per day.
The pace of vaccine production has also increased after the Biden administration announced an agreement in March that pharmaceutical company Merck would help Johnson & Johnson with its production. The effort hit a roadblock when a manufacturing snafu contaminated 15 million doses of the company’s vaccine.
Yet the United States is on track to produce hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine by the summer. Biden announced Tuesday that by April 19, states should make all adults in the United States eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine, advancing the previous deadline by two weeks.