1 in 6 US adults has been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, CDC says

March 21, 2021

Roughly one in every six U.S. adults has been fully vaccinated for the coronavirus, according to new data released Saturday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC’s vaccine tracker, which was updated Saturday afternoon, shows that 16.7 percent of the adult population has been fully vaccinated. More than 40 percent of adults aged 65 years and older are also fully vaccinated.

More than 121 million doses in total have been administered, and nearly 43 million adults are fully inoculated.

Three different vaccines for the coronavirus have been approved for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. The Pfizer and Moderna shots require two doses for full efficacy, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires just one inoculation.

More than 21 million of the fully vaccinated adults received the Pfizer shot, followed by 19.8 million who received the Moderna vaccine and 2.15 million who got the Johnson & Johnson shot, which was just recently released.

The Biden administration has already surpassed its goal of administering 100 million shots in its first 100 days as it ramps up its distribution efforts, but public health experts are urging people to continue to take precautions like wearing a mask and social distancing to prevent the further spread of the virus. 

Despite the increased availability of the vaccines, only half of health care workers have gotten the vaccine, according to a recent poll by The Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation. A majority of unvaccinated health care workers have not decided whether they would get it, and have expressed concerns about side effects and the newness of the vaccine. 

A sizable group of Americans throughout the country have also expressed similar concerns and hesitancy surrounding the shot. 

Public health experts, including the nation’s top infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci, stated that in order to achieve herd immunity in the country, up to 85 percent of the population would need to be vaccinated. 

The news from the CDC comes the same day that the United Kingdom announced that half of its adult population has received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. The number represents a milestone in a country that has been forced into lockdown after the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant.