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Half of US states have fully vaccinated at least 50% of adults. We need to keep going to prevent future outbreaks, official says

At least 25 states — plus Washington, DC — have now fully vaccinated at least half of their adults, data published Sunday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

Those states are Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington state and Wisconsin.

The state with the highest proportion of adults who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 is Maine — with more than 62% of people 18 and over having completed their shots.

Across the US, roughly 61.3% of American adults have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose and about 49.6% are fully vaccinated, CDC data shows.

More than 49% of the country’s total population has gotten at least one shot while more than 39% of the population is fully vaccinated, the data shows.

The impact of vaccines is now obvious: the country is recording some of the lowest Covid-19 metrics in roughly a year and officials say it could soon get even better than that.

“Across the country, cases of Covid-19, serious illness and loss of life are all down dramatically,” White House senior Covid-19 adviser Andy Slavitt said during a briefing on Friday. “And they can be brought down even further and the risk of a future wave in your community significantly reduced if we keep up the pace of vaccinations.”

Here’s how many Covid-19 cases US is averaging

In the past week, the US has averaged more than 25,000 new cases and more than 540 new Covid-19 deaths daily, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Those are still high numbers, experts say.

But they’re way down from where we used to be just weeks ago. The country’s average of daily Covid-19 cases in the past week is down by 57% from what it was just a month ago, according to Johns Hopkins data.

And the seven-day average of daily Covid-19 deaths is down by 23% from a month ago, according to that data.

“The people who are getting infected now tend to be people who are younger, less vulnerable to the infection, because a lot of the vulnerable population has been vaccinated,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

More than 85% of Americans 65 and older have received at least one Covid-19 shot and nearly 74% are fully vaccinated, CDC data shows.

“The people most likely to get into trouble with Covid have now been protected through vaccination and you’re seeing a rapidly declining rate of new hospitalizations as a consequence of that fact,” Gottlieb added.

Children don’t need masks outdoors, expert says

Gottlieb also said Sunday he doesn’t think children need to be wearing face masks outside anymore and that the CDC will have to revise its guidance on summer camps.

In late April, the agency said that in summer camps, people who can get vaccinated against Covid-19 should do so but everyone should wear masks, distancing will still be necessary and staying outdoors is best.

“Wearing a mask, you know, is difficult in the summertime when it’s hot and I don’t think that the risk merits that,” Gottlieb said. “But I do think parents need to make an assessment about the risk of the environment that the child is going to be in.”

For example, in crowded indoor settings, having kids wear masks is reasonable, he said.

The CDC has said it’s working on updating its summer camp guidance.

Since there is no vaccine for children under 12, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said last week children and adults who are not yet fully vaccinated against Covid-19 still need to wear masks in certain settings.

Children should continue wearing masks in public places as they have throughout the pandemic, particularly when social distancing isn’t possible, said Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, chair of the AAP’s Committee on Infectious Diseases.

Children can take off their masks when they are with family members from the same household or at small gatherings with fully vaccinated family members and friends and during water sports, such as swimming, or activities in which masks could pose a safety risk, such as gymnastics.

Children under 2 years old also do not need to wear masks, Maldonado said.

Article Topic Follows: Health

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