The Biden administration on Friday said newly vaccinated Americans and people seeking boosters combined for 2.18 million COVID-19 shots on Thursday, the largest 24-hour total in six months as governments around the world warn about the new omicron variant.
White House COVID-19 Data Coordinator Cyrus Shahpar said the total included 678,000 people coming forward for the first time and 1.04 million seeking booster shots. He also said 186,000 kids between the ages of 5 and 11 became fully vaccinated as the globe keeps an eye on a new strain with alarming mutations.
“Omicron is a cause for concern. Get vax/boosted now,” he tweeted.
Nearly six in 10 Americans are now fully vaccinated and over 20% of immunized persons have come forward for an extra dose, which President Biden is pushing as a critical part of the nation’s defense against the delta and omicron variants of COVID-19.
Mr. Shahpar said 75% of eligible persons — those age 5 or older — have received at least one dose of a vaccine.
Some experts say the administration may have squeezed much of what it can out of the holdout population and should focus on those willing to come forward for vaccines while using an array of tools to beat back the virus.
Groundbreaking antiviral pills are being added to the arsenal and Mr. Biden on Thursday said private insurers will have to reimburse enrollees for the cost of at-home tests, signaling they will be a bigger part of his strategy as experts forecast a possible winter-season surge in infections.
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