Record Covid-19 vaccinations don’t mean it’s time to relax, officials say

Health officials are warning Americans not to relax in the fight against Covid-19, despite a record daily number of vaccine doses being administered to the population.

At a briefing Friday, the White House’s Covid-19 response co-ordinator Jeff Zients said that 71% of individuals 65 and older had received at least one vaccination dose and that by mid-April about half of states will have opened up eligibility to all adults.

“We will need to continue to build on this progress to meet our new goal of 200 million shots in the first 100 days,” Zients said, referring to the first 100 days of the Biden administration.

We’re vaccinating at 2. 5 million people a day and they are protected from Covid,” she said.

“Our advice is clear, we’re vaccinating really, really quickly and we’re just asking people to hang on a little while longer in terms of the masks and the mitigation strategies so that we can get the majority of people vaccinated,” she said. “We just want to make sure that we don’t end up in a surge that truly is avoidable. “

We’re monitoring that very closely, and we anticipate a significant increase at the end of this month, which will enable them to hit at least 20 million doses,” Zients said.

At Friday’s White House briefing, Walensky said officials were stepping up their surveillance of coronavirus variants with over 8,000 cases of B. 1. 1. 7 — the variant first detected in the UK — now having been reported across 51 jurisdictions.