The United States is reporting first-dose vaccine jabs at less than half the pace of just a few weeks ago, a USA TODAY analysis of CDC data shows.
The U.S. reported administering 6.54 million first doses in the week ending Monday, down sharply from 14 million reported in the week ending April 13. On Monday alone, the United States reported administering about 471,000 first doses, the lowest number seen since Feb. 23, when an ice storm had snarled supplies.
More than 147 million Americans, or 44% of the U.S. population, have received at least one dose. Herd immunity has been estimated to require vaccination of 70% or more of the population. More than a quarter of all Americans say they don’t want the vaccine, surveys indicate.
The good news: Some experts say it may not take “herd immunity” to see a dramatic drop in COVID-19 cases, that 30 to 40 million first shots could be enough for the United States to reach a vaccine tipping point and containment of the pandemic.
The U.S. is now averaging fewer than 50,000 new coronavirus cases per day, a level not seen since early October and a sign that the vaccination program already is having an impact on the pandemic.
Still, the decline in vaccinations is alarming. New Hampshire, which is leading the country in first doses administered, reported giving 141,431 first-dose shots three weeks ago and in the latest week gave 17,842. South Dakota reported 30,347 first-dose shots three weeks ago and this week reported just 6,621. Wyoming…