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US reaches major milestone in COVID-19 fight

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Health authorities in the US say 50 per cent of all American adults have now been fully vaccinated against coronavirus.

Health authorities in the US say 50 per cent of all American adults have now been fully vaccinated against coronavirus.

The US Centres for Disease Control announced more than 130.6 million Americans have completed a full course of the vaccine as of this morning, with the White House urging more to come forward to receive the jab.

"This is a major milestone in our country's vaccination efforts," White House senior COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt said during a briefing, noting only one per cent of Americans were vaccinated when President Joe Biden entered office in January.

Australian's who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 won't be able to avoid hotel quarantine in Queensland if they have visited exposure sites in Melbourne.

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Earlier this month, Mr Biden said he wanted 160 million US adults fully vaccinated by July 4.

Mr Slavitt made an appeal to Americans who remain on the fence about getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

"Find whatever reason you want to get vaccinated. For those not sure yet, do your homework, talk to your doctor or your pharmacist. All concerns are reasonable, but do yourself a favour: Don't let some guy on Facebook answer your question when good answers are available," Mr Slavitt said.

Overall, 49.4 per cent of the US population age 12 and above has received at least one shot and 39.3 per cent of the US population age 12 and above is fully vaccinated.

The Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 was only authorised for younger teens earlier this month and Moderna said that its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and appears to be effective in adolescents.

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The Moderna vaccine is not yet authorised for use in people younger than 18; the company says it plans to submit the results to the US Food and Drug Administration in early June along with a request for authorisation to use the vaccine in adolescents.

White House officials have been focused on increasing accessibility to the vaccines, combating misinformation and assisting those without the resources to get vaccinated as they race to get shots in arms across the country.

Joe Biden has called for gun control, immigration reform, higher taxes on the very wealthy, and paid maternity leave.

Mr Biden has said there will be enough vaccine for every adult American by the end of this month and all people age 12 and up are eligible to receive a shot.

At least 25 states, plus Washington DC, have now fully vaccinated at least half of their adult residents, CDC data shows.

The federal health agency defines fully vaccinated as two weeks after the second dose of a Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine or two weeks after the single shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

At least 70 to 85 per cent of the US population will need to be immunised through vaccines or infection in order to reach the threshold of protection needed to limit the virus' spread, according to health experts.

Focusing on vaccinating children, teens and young adults could help reach that percentage, and furthermore, leaving them unvaccinated could give the virus a chance to spread, mutate and develop a strain resistant to existing vaccines.

In addition, vaccinating children and adolescents has been an increasing focus as officials look ahead to the new school year starting in the fall.

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https://twitter.com/WHCOVIDResponse/status/1397258017272336395?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

READ MORE: Moderna COVID-19 vaccine works well in teens, company says

The Biden administration more than doubled its initial goal of 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in its first 100 days, reaching the 200 million benchmark on April 21.

The administration has been ramping up efforts to get the rest of the population vaccinated as variants spread throughout the country and threaten to derail the progress the nation has made in combating the pandemic.

Some Americans are resisting getting vaccinated, and in response the White House has poured resources into educating the American public about the safety and efficacy of the three COVID-19 vaccines available in the US.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/coronavirus-milestone-half-of-all-us-adults-have-received-covid-vaccine/782a6517-a520-46b5-b31f-82f59dcde767

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