Feb 26, 2021 - Health

About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says

Joe Biden speaks during an event commemorating the 50 million COVID-19 vaccine shot

Joe Biden speaks during an event commemorating the 50 million COVID-19 vaccine shots. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Nearly 1 in 5 adults and nearly half of Americans 65 and older have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, White House senior adviser Andy Slavitt said on Friday.

The big picture: The Biden administration has previously said it has secured enough doses to vaccinate most of the American population by the end of July.

  • On Thursday, the Biden administration said 50 million doses have been administered since Biden took office.
  • Slavitt said Friday that the milestone puts the country ahead of schedule for meeting its goal of 100 million doses in 100 days.

The state of play: The White House will meet with top business groups and speak with thousands of business owners to ask employers to provide vaccination incentives for its employees, like paid time off.

  • Several other businesses are already taking initiative, like Uber and Lyft, which partnered with pharmacies and community centers to provide 60 million free or discounted rides.
  • The federal government and states are also erecting more mass vaccination sites. One will be in Chicago, which will inoculate 6,000 people a day, and another in Greensboro, North Carolina, that will be able to manage 3,000 people per day.

What to watch: The vaccine rollout has been dealing with a few setbacks as a result of the extreme winter weather last week. But Slavitt said the federal government is ready to send out 14.5 million weekly doses to states beginning next week, an increase of about 70% since Biden took office.

Go deeper: Biden administration to distribute 25 million free masks

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