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US to Reach Vaccine Milestone Tuesday, White House Says

People sit inside a COVID-19 vaccination site attached to New York Mets stadium Citi Field, in Queens, New York, May 24, 2021.

The White House says 50% of U.S. adults will become fully vaccinated on Tuesday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that 49.8% adults, or 128.7 million, had been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The Biden administration has set a goal to have 160 million adults, roughly 70% of the population, vaccinated by July 4.

The race to vaccinate the country comes as the U.S. tries to reach “herd immunity,” when enough Americans are inoculated against the virus that it can no longer spread. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, estimates that between 70% and 85% of people need to be immunized for the country to reach a blanket of protection.

Some 49.4% of Americans over the age of 12 have received at least one dose of a vaccine, and 39.3% are fully vaccinated.

As more coronavirus restrictions are being lifted, businesses, sports teams and state governments are offering special promotions to persuade young people and others to get vaccinated. The largest incentives are in Ohio, where Governor Mike DeWine announced the state will give away $1 million each to five vaccinated residents ages 18 or older, starting May 26.

As more fans return to sporting events, the New York Yankees and the New York Mets professional baseball teams are offering free tickets to fans who get their shots at the ballpark. And ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft are offering free round-trip rides to vaccination sites until July 4.

Various bars are offering free beer to patrons 21 and older who got the vaccine, while some restaurants are giving away food to vaccinated customers.