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Biden hits 100-day vaccine goal as case counts in Michigan, U.S. show signs of slowing


President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the COVID-19 response and the state of vaccinations as Vice President Kamala Harris looks on at the South Court Auditorium of Eisenhower Executive Office Building on April 21, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Alex Wong | Getty Images

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that his administration had reached its goal of 200 million Covid vaccine shots administered during his first 100 days in office, and touted that half of U.S. adults, and 80% of seniors, have received at least one shot.

The president had originally aimed for 100 million shots in 100 days, a goal that drew criticism for being too conservative. The administration hit that target in 58 days.

In a White House speech, Biden also remarked that the country was entering a “new phase” of the vaccination effort after focusing primarily on high-risk groups such as healthcare workers and nursing home residents for the initial three months of the rollout.

“The broad swath of American adults still remain largely unvaccinated,” he said, adding that “too many younger Americans may still think they don’t need to get vaccinated.”

As of Monday, all states had expanded vaccine eligibility to include everyone 16 and older.

Biden on Wednesday announced a tax credit for employers offering vaccine-related paid leave.

The U.S. is reporting nearly 63,000 daily new Covid infections, based on a seven-day average of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. That figure is above the nation’s most recent low point of 53,600 per day in late March, but has been trending downward over the past few days.

U.S. vaccine shots administered

The United States is averaging 3 million reported shots per day over the past week, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. That figure has held above 3 million for more than two weeks straight, but is down slightly from a peak of 3.4 million reported shots per day on April 13.

The recent decline may be at least partially due to the ongoing halt in use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration earlier this month advised states to suspend the use of J&J’s shot “out of an abundance of caution” after six women developed a rare blood clotting disorder.

Most vaccinated Americans have received the Pfizer and Moderna shots, as J&J makes up only 8 million of the 216 million total doses administered to date. But the single-shot option from Johnson & Johnson, which came onto the market later than the other two, was being used for an average of nearly 425,000 reported shots per day at peak levels in mid-April.

U.S. share of the population vaccinated

More than 40% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, and 26% is fully vaccinated.

U.S. Covid cases

The U.S. is reporting nearly 63,000 daily new infections, based on a seven-day average of Johns Hopkins data, about 18% higher than the nation’s latest low point but a slight decline from recent days.

In Michigan, which is still seeing the highest rate of average new cases per capita in the country, the outbreak may be slowing. Following weeks of a surge that brought daily case counts near the state’s pandemic highs, the seven-day average there has fallen nearly 20% from its latest peak. Michigan is currently reporting 6,400 new cases per day on average, according to Johns Hopkins data, down from nearly 7,900 a week ago.

Hospitalizations and deaths, which lag reported cases, are still on the rise in the state, however. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has asked the federal government to send additional vaccine doses to help fight the outbreak.

U.S. Covid deaths

About 700 Covid deaths are being reported each day in the U.S., according to a weekly average of Johns Hopkins data.

Biden said Wednesday that the death toll among seniors has declined dramatically due largely to the high vaccination rate for that age group.

“Still, far too many lives lost, but also a lot of lives saved,” he said.

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