White House greets vaccine mandates as number of unvaccinated drops by 40%

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Zoom in / FLORIDA, 09/11/2021: A boy high-fives a nurse before receiving an injection of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination site for children aged 5 to 11.

The White House touted the successful COVID-19 vaccination mandates on Wednesday as more of the country’s unvaccinated are rolling up their sleeves.

Over the past seven days, the country has averaged 300,000 first doses per day, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients noted at a news conference today. The weekly total is the highest in nearly a month, Zients added.

Overall, the number of unvaccinated people eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine (people aged 12 and over) has decreased by 40% since July. That is, the number of unvaccinated fell from about 100 million to less than 60 million.

“The simple truth is that the vaccination requirements are working,” Zients said. “Vaccination requirements get more people vaccinated, strengthen our economy and help us continue our path out of the pandemic.”

In September, President Joe Biden announced broad federal vaccination mandates in an effort to protect more people from the deadly coronavirus. Additionally, many state and local governments and employers have issued their own requirements.

The mandates were faced with legal challenges and opposition from scales of workers. Only today, 10 states have filed a lawsuit block federal vaccination mandates for healthcare workers in federally funded facilities. But for the most part, the mandates have stimulated high vaccination rates.

In addition to the success of the mandate, Zients noted promising data on boosters and vaccinations in children. Over 25 million people have now gotten it booster, which are available to people in select groups. And the administration estimates that over 900,000 children ages 5 to 11 received their first doses, which they were released to them just last week. An additional 700,000 vaccine doses are planned for children in local pharmacies. There are about 28 million children in that age group in the country, and the administration says it has enough supplies to vaccinate all of them.

Overall, 79% of people 12 and older in the United States have received at least one dose, and 68.5% – 194.4 million people – are fully vaccinated.

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