NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — Americans are getting vaccinated at an extremely rapid pace. Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s “deeply concerned” about a rising number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations across certain parts of the country.
Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said at a White House briefing that the most recent weekly average shows a 7% increase in infections in the US from the previous week, at about 57,000 cases a day.
New hospitalizations also slightly increased.
At his first official press conference as president on Thursday, Joe Biden announced a doubling of his vaccination goal, from 100m vaccinations in the first 100 days of his administration to 200m doses administered.
“Winter is over. Spring is here, let’s get a vaccine. Let’s rebuild New York better than ever before,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
However, even with 2.5 million Americans getting vaccinated every day, people have stopped taking the pandemic seriously, and they believe this could be the worst possible time. The CDC experts stressed Friday that people need to keep protecting themselves with masks and social distancing.
Experts say they’re disturbed by what they’re seeing across the country, with large crowds gathering in Miami during Spring Break. In Chicago, experts believe younger adults drive an increase in COVID-19 cases.
“We need people to keep their guard up against COVID,” said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady.
As of Friday, 14.7% of the U.S. is fully vaccinated, and nearly 90 million Americans have at least one COVID-19 vaccine, but across more than half of the county, cases are rising again. Per capita, New Jersey’s leading the way, and it’s doing something about it.
“A week from Monday, all new Jersians age 55 and over will be eligible for vaccination,” said Gov. Phil Murphy.
Rutgers University will soon become the first in the county to require students to be vaccinated going onto campus. Chicago Public Schools is planning to vaccinate high school students.
Pfizer has started a clinical trial testing its vaccine on healthy children as young as six months. Success would mean a big step toward herd immunity.
“Vaccination is part of our duty to protect not only us but everyone around us,” said Dr. Vivek Kak, a Henry Ford Health infectious disease specialist.
A covid-weary nation, eager to return to normal, but when America’s top infectious disease expert was given a chance to offer a message of hope this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci stopped short saying, “When I’m often asked, ‘Are we turning the corner?’ my response is really more like we are at the corner. whether or not we’re going to be turning that corner still remains to be seen.”
Officials say there are now nearly 50,000 locations where people can get vaccinated, a total that will ramp up, including federally-run mass vaccination sites.
The White House says Boston, Massachusetts, Norfolk, Virginia, and Newark, New Jersey are getting mass vaccination centers — the goal: to vaccinate 200 million Americans by the end of next month.