The White House proclaimed Wednesday’s success with COVID-19 vaccine mandates as several of the country’s unvaccinated roll up their sleeves.
In the last seven days, the country has had an average of 300,000 first doses a day, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients noted in a press briefing today. The weekly total is the highest in almost a month, Zients added.
Overall, the number of unvaccinated people eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine (people aged 12 and up) has dropped by 40 percent since July. That is, the number of unvaccinated fell from about 100 million to less than 60 million.
“The simple truth is that vaccination requirements work,” Zients said. “Vaccination requirements are getting more people vaccinated, strengthening our economy and helping us continue on our path out of the pandemic.”
In September, President Joe Biden announced extensive federal vaccination mandates in an effort to get more people protected from the deadly coronavirus. In addition, many state and local authorities and employers have issued their own claims.
The mandates have been met with legal challenges and opposition from pieces of workers. Just today, 10 states filed a lawsuit to block federal vaccination mandates for health care workers in federally funded facilities. But for the most part, the mandates have spurred high vaccination rates.
In addition to the mandate’s success, Zients noted hopeful data on booster shots and vaccinations in children. Over 25 million people have now been given boosters, which are available to people in select groups. And the administration estimates that over 900,000 children aged 5 to 11 have received their first doses, which were rolled out to them last week. An additional 700,000 vaccine doses are planned for children at local pharmacies. There are about 28 million children in that age group in the country and the administration says it has enough supplies to vaccinate them all.
Overall, 79 percent of people 12 and up in the United States have received at least one dose, and 68.5 percent – 194.4 million people – are fully vaccinated.