Joe Biden says that the Trupm administration left behind a more dire situtation with Covid-19 than anticipated

US administers more than 4 million Covid vaccines to most vulnerable: ‘We are on the path to protection’

'For many of our most vulnerable Americans, the risk of death is being reduced. And we are committed to leaving no stone unturned,' Andy Slavitt says

Danielle Zoellner
New York
@dani__zoellner
Monday 08 February 2021 17:42
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The United States has administered more than 4.7 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to 3.8 million of its most vulnerable people in an effort to decrease hospitalisations and deaths caused by the novel virus.

"Those who are dying in large numbers last year are now on the path to protection," said Andy Slavitt, Joe Biden's senior coronavirus adviser, during the White House Covid response team press briefing on Monday.

People living in long-term care facilities, alongside healthcare workers, were prioritised above all others in the country to receive a Covid-19 vaccine. This was after the country witnessed deadly spreads of the novel virus within these facilities last year.

"For many of our most vulnerable Americans, the risk of death is being reduced. And we are committed to leaving no stone unturned," Mr Slavitt added.

He said the country's willingness to prioritise the elderly and healthcare population showed "a great representation of the American spirit of generosity".

Additionally, Mr Slavitt said that 17 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered to those 65 years and older. Where vaccinations were currently lacking, Mr Slavitt said, was among minority populations. Government and health officials were working to address the ethnic inequalities being seen across the US.

In total, the country has distributed nearly 60 million vaccine doses to states, 41.2 million of which have been administered to Americans, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention tracker. This means that 10 per cent of the country's population has received one or two doses of the vaccine.

The White House press briefing also revealed that cases and hospitalisations continue to decline across the country after the deadly surge that followed the winter holidays.

Cases have dropped by 20 per cent in the last week and hospitalisations have declined by nearly 17 per cent, said Dr Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director. But the number of daily deaths from the novel virus have increased by 2.4 per cent in the last week, based on a seven-day rolling average.

"Although hospital admissions and cases are consistently dropping, I am asking everyone to please keep your guard up," Dr Walensky said, adding the US was still not below the Covid-19 levels it experienced over the summer months in 2020.

One reason why the country would need to keep its guard up in the coming months was due to the new Covid-19 variants spreading through states. Dr Walensky said the UK variant, which was estimated to be more transmissible by about 50 per cent, was spreading rapidly in the US.

The CDC has projected that the UK variant could become the most prevalent version of the novel virus by the end of March, causing concern among health officials given its high transmissibility.

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