As of Friday, the country was administering on average just over a million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is down from a peak average in early April of 3.3 million per day.

Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Friday that the best way for the country to avoid Covid-19 outbreaks and further economic hardship was to get vaccinated.

“It’s not over until it’s over – and it’s not over yet,” Fauci said at an event hosted by US Health and Human Services.

Complacency, he said, could lead to “another push – especially with floating variants – that could take us back to when we needed to stop things.”

Communities and regions with low immunization rates may still be prime candidates for epidemics, experts said, and could pose risks not only to unvaccinated adults, but also to children who are not yet eligible. to be vaccinated or who have just become vaccinated.

And because the virus mutates, “I’m concerned not only that (unvaccinated) people continue to be vulnerable to infection, but also the nature of those infections, as we are seeing new variants emerging. online, “Dr Abdul El-Sayed, a CNN contributor, epidemiologist and former Detroit health commissioner, said Saturday.

A recent CNN analysis of CDC data found that the United States is on the verge of falling short of the Biden administration’s goal of having 70% of adults nationwide receive at least one dose of here July 4th.

About 63.2% of American adults had received at least one dose by Friday morning, according to the CDC. If the country maintained its current pace, the United States would not meet the 70% target until mid-July.

Twelve states have already met the one dose goal of Biden: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

As the country lobbies for more vaccinations, evidence has accumulated that mass vaccination programs have helped bring down infections and daily deaths.

The United States has averaged about 14,300 new cases per day over the past week, up from about 71,300 per day in mid-April, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. It is also well below the country’s maximum average of over 250,000 per day reached in early January, according to Johns Hopkins.

Almost 170 million people in the United States – just over half of the country’s total population – have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and about 137.5 million people – 41.4% of the population – are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

Immunization incentives continue

A slew of states and businesses over the past month have hoped to create demand for vaccines by awarding prizes to those vaccinated.

The latest is Hawaii, which offers a variety of donated prices, including vacation packages and airline miles, to help meet vaccination milestones as soon as possible.

“The last 15 or 16 months have been a very difficult time for our tourism industry,” said Peter Ingram, President and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines.

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Hawaii, which has maintained some of the most stringent travel restrictions throughout the pandemic, is starting to ease the rules on air travel, dropping its testing and quarantine requirements for people traveling between the Hawaiian Islands to from June 15th. All pandemic restrictions will be lifted once full. The vaccination rate reaches 70%, the state said.

“We have to push hard now so that we can get to the point where Safe travel is no longer needed to ensure the safety of the people of Hawaii, ”Governor David Ige said on Friday.

In Kentucky, Governor Andy Beshear announced the state’s new incentive for the Covid-19 vaccine that will give vaccinated adults “a chance to get a million dollars,” he said.

“In the coming weeks, three vaccinated Kentuckians, aged 18 or older, will become millionaires,” Beshear said on Friday, adding that 15 Kentuckians aged 12 to 17 would win full scholarships at a public college, university or university. technical or commercial school.

More than 2 million Kentuckians have already been vaccinated, but Beshear anticipates “a significant increase” following Friday’s announcement, he said.

In Colorado, Governor Jared Polis presented Sally Sliger with an oversized check for $ 1 million as the winner of the state’s first “Comeback Cash” draw.

Sliger said she has always resided in Colorado and currently lives in the town of Mead with her husband and two children.

“The odds of my family and I receiving a million dollars overnight seemed incredibly low,” Sliger said, encouraging everyone to get vaccinated for the freedom offered. “It was surreal, of course.”

Protecting children remains a priority

As vaccines continue to reach the arms of eligible adolescents and adults, health officials remain concerned about the safety of children. Only those 12 and older are currently eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine in the United States – and children between the ages of 12 and 15 only became eligible last month.

Adolescent hospitalization rates rose in April, after dropping from January to mid-March, research found that CDC released Friday shown.

The increase could be linked to more transmissible coronavirus variants, large numbers of children returning to school and other indoor activities, and changes in physical distancing, wearing of masks and other preventive behaviors, the researchers wrote.

It’s a reminder that children “can still suffer and be hospitalized with this virus,” said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia on Friday.

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“We initially had this idea that it was just a disease of the elderly. It is not true. This virus can also harm children,” Offit told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Because of this, banning school masks in states like Texas is irresponsible and could make more children sick, Offit said.

“To have these kinds of rules that only help the spread of this virus – that only help more children get sick – is just nonsense,” he said.

The CDC says vaccinated people can stop wearing masks in most cases, but unvaccinated people should continue to use them.

The FDA Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Related Biologics (VRBPAC), of which Offit is a part, is due to meet on June 10 to discuss what the FDA should consider to authorize or approve the use of coronavirus vaccines. in children under 12 years of age.

Moderna and Pfizer are conducting trials for their vaccines in children 11 and under.

CNN’s Melissa Alonso, Jason Hanna, Lauren Mascarenhas, Deidre McPhillips, Michael Nedelman, Andy Rose, Hannah Sarisohn and Naomi Thomas contributed to this report.

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