On the day U.S. President Joe Biden set as the deadline for all adults in the United States to be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, the White House COVID-19 Response team touted the safety, efficacy and ease of getting vaccinated.
From his Twitter account, Andy Slavitt, White House senior adviser on the COVID-19 response, called Monday "Vaccination Day," as it is the day that all Americans 16 and older are now eligible for vaccinations in every state and territory.
During the virtual White House briefing, Slavitt said that as of Monday, 90% of all Americans should be within five miles of a vaccinations site, and that there are more than enough vaccine doses available for them to get one.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control Director Rochelle Walensky said the United States is at a complicated stage of the pandemic. She said new cases continue to rise, with the per day average of new cases now more than 67,400, compared to a month ago when the daily average was just more than 50,000. She said deaths and hospitalizations are also up.
At the same time, Walensky said 192 million Americans have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine — 90% of the president's goal of 200 million vaccinated in his first 100 days in office on day 88.
She added that 50% of all U.S. adults are least partially vaccinated, and 25% are now fully vaccinated. She noted real-world studies have shown the vaccine to be safe and effective.
Addressing those still hesitant to get vaccinated, Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the president, said a lot of real data is available that show vaccines are safe and effective. He cited multiple clinical and real-world trials by The New England Journal of Medicine and the CDC.
Fauci noted that the nation of Israel, where 61.8% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine, has sharply driven down new case numbers.
He called vaccination "the highway to normalcy," and said each day, as more and more people get vaccinated, the nation gets closer and closer to that normalcy.