The US government announced on Sunday that the country had passed the milestone of having administered at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot to half of all adults.
Close to 130 million Americans aged 18 or over have received a dose of one of the authorized coronavirus vaccines — 50.4% of the total adult population.
Almost a third of the adult population — 84 million individuals — has been fully vaccinated against the deadly virus.
The vaccination rate was not equal across the country, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed. The state with the highest uptake of the vaccine was New Hampshire, where over 70% of adults have received a jab.
On the other end of the spectrum, in Tennessee, only 40% of adults had been administered one of the vaccine shots.
The next stage of the vaccination campaign will be to deal with those who have expressed a reluctance to be vaccinated. However, according to surveys, the share of Americans willing to receive a dose has increased from 67% in January to 75% in March, AP reported.
Here’s a roundup of some other major COVID-related stories around the world.
India’s Health Ministry has pledged to free up more hospital beds as cases in the country continue to skyrocket. Wards in hospitals reserved for government employees and public sector companies will be made available to the general population to help tackle the rising infection rate. Oxygen supplies will also be diverted from industry to states in need.
The daily number of COVID-19 infections broke another record on Sunday with some 261,500 people testing positive in 24 hours — around one in six tests carried out came back positive. More than 25,000 cases were recorded in New Delhi alone.
The EU’s internal market commissioner, Thierry Breton, renewed the bloc’s quarrel with the British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, hinting that the EU may not renew its contracts with the company after it failed to deliver on its promises of providing member states with 120 million doses in the first quarter.
The drug manufacturer only delivered 30 million of those doses. Furthermore, one member, Denmark, has already banned the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine entirely, while others have limited it.
Turkey recorded its highest COVID-19 death toll on Sunday, the country’s Health Ministry said. Some 318 people died in 24 hours, bringing the total number of coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began to 35,926. The country also recorded almost 56,000 new cases.
The government reintroduced restrictions last week, extending an evening weekday curfew and moving classes back online.
ab/sri (AP, AFP)
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