US sees jump in vaccinations amid devastating delta surge

A nurse administers a COVID-19 shot at a vaccination site in Florida on August 18, 2021.

Enlarge / A nurse administers a COVID-19 shot at a vaccination site in Florida on August 18, 2021. (credit: Getty | Sopa images)

The US reached a milestone of having 200 million people vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine on Friday. And for two days in a row now, over one million people rolled up their sleeves for a shot. Those are daily highs not seen in nearly seven weeks.

Of those one million vaccinations each day, approximately 562,000 and 534,000 shots went to people receiving their first dose, according to White House COVID-19 Data Director, Cyrus Shahpar. Earlier this week, the seven-day average of new first doses nationwide has been hovering around 400,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The boost in vaccinations comes amid a devastating wave of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths driven by the hypertransmissible delta variant, which now accounts for nearly all cases in the US. The surge stands to rival the country's worst wave of the pandemic, which peaked in January 2021 with average daily new cases around 200,000. The country is now averaging over 130,000 cases a day, and that figure is still climbing.

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