The White House touted the success of COVID-19 vaccine mandates Wednesday as more of the country’s unvaccinated are rolling up their sleeves.
In the last seven days, the country has averaged 300,000 first doses per day, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients noted in a press briefing today. The weekly total is the highest in nearly a month, Zients added.
Overall, the number of unvaccinated people eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine (people ages 12 and up) has dropped 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 are working,” Zients said. “Vaccination requirements get more people vaccinated, strengthen our economy, and help continue us on our path out of the pandemic.”
In September, President Joe Biden announced sweeping federal vaccination mandates in an effort get more people protected from the deadly coronavirus. In addition, many state and local governments and employers have issued their own requirements.
The mandates have been met with legal challenges and opposition from slivers 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 rates of vaccination.
In addition to the mandate success, Zients noted hopeful data on booster shots and vaccinations in children. Over 25 million people have now gotten boosters, which are available to people in select groups. And the administration estimates that over 900,000 children ages 5 to 11 have gotten their first doses, which were rolled out to them just last week. An additional 700,000 vaccine doses are scheduled for children at local pharmacies. There are roughly 28 million children in that age group in the country, and the administration says it has enough supply to vaccinate all of them.
Overall, 79 percent of people 12 and up in the US have received at least one dose, and 68.5 percent—194.4 million people—are fully vaccinated.