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Expand chart
Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

America’s battle against the coronavirus is going great.

The big picture: For the first time in a long time, nobody needs to cherry-pick some misleading data to make it seem like things are going well, and the good news doesn’t need an endless list of caveats, either. It’s just really good news. We’re winning. Be happy.

By the numbers: The U.S. averaged fewer than 40,000 new cases per day over the past week.

  • That’s a 21% improvement over the week before, and the first time the daily average has dipped below 40,000 since September — eight months ago.
  • New cases declined last week in 37 states. Not a single state moved in the wrong direction.

Deaths from the coronavirus are at their lowest level since last July — about 600 per day, on average, per the AP, and may soon hit their lowest point of the entire pandemic. Nationally, hospitalization rates are also falling significantly.

The U.S. is finally winning its battle against COVID-19 thanks almost exclusively to one weapon: the vaccines.

  • More than 107 million Americans have gotten both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, and the vaccination drive in the U.S. has been underway for nearly six months. All of that real-world experience has confirmed that the vaccines are highly effective, and it has produced no new safety concerns.
  • 99.7% of hospitalized coronavirus patients are unvaccinated, the Cleveland Clinic said this week — more real-world evidence that the vaccines prevent the type of serious infections that were killing over 3,000 Americans per day just a few months ago.

What’s next: Almost 60% of American adults have gotten at least one shot, and roughly 45% are fully vaccinated. The next step: vaxxing the 12- to 15-year-olds.

  • Demand seems to be slowing, but continuing to get more shots into more arms is essential to cementing America’s progress — and the safe return to work, school, restaurants and travel that can come with it.

Go deeper

May 12, 2021 - Health

CDC panel endorses Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

An advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday endorsed the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for 12-to 15-year-olds, following the FDA's emergency use authorization.

Why it matters: Approval from the CDC panel was the final step needed before inoculations could be offered at any vaccination site for this age group.

Ohio offering shot at $1M to vaccinated people in state lottery

Mike DeWine. Photo: Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) on Wednesday announced multiple monetary incentives for residents who get vaccinated for COVID-19 as he lifted pandemic health orders statewide.

Why it matters: DeWine noted that 42% of Ohioans have been fully vaccinated. The incentive programs align with a drop in vaccine demand in recent weeks.