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First shots of US COVID-19 vaccination drop to record low

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-10-28 09:47
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A medical staff member administers a Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine at a #VAXTOSCHOOL pop-up site at Life of Hope Center on Oct 21, 2021 in New York City. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON - The daily count of people receiving first shots of COVID-19 vaccines in the United States dropped to a record low since vaccines were available in the country last December, as experts stressed urgency for the vast unvaccinated to take the first step.

The daily count of people getting dose 1 has been decreasing since mid-August, reaching a record low of 25,336 on Tuesday, according to latest data of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The average number initiating vaccination each day is down 15 percent from last week.

The slowdown came as the recent wave of the pandemic continues to show signs of easing in the country. New daily COVID-19 cases in the United States have fallen by nearly 60 percent nationwide since a peak in mid-September brought by the highly transmissible Delta variant.

But some northeastern states are starting to see new outbreaks, and the nation is still averaging nearly 70,000 daily cases and more than 1,000 deaths per day, according to CDC data.

About 191 million people have been fully vaccinated in the United States as of Wednesday, accounting for 57.5 percent of the whole population. About 14.4 million people have received booster shots.

Advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday recommended authorizing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. They found that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks for this younger population.

It is now up to the FDA and the CDC to make a final decision. If authorized, it would be the first COVID-19 vaccine for younger children.

Health experts said getting younger kids eligible for COVID-19 vaccines could impact the trajectory of the pandemic. However, to convince the vast unvaccinated population to take the first step remains key to ending the pandemic. 

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