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The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the US are rising — even as more people are getting vaccinated, federal health officials said Monday.
“We remain in a complicated stage,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a White House press briefing.
“On the one hand, more people in the United States are being vaccinated every single day at an accelerated pace. On the other hand, cases and hospitalizations are increasing.”
The CDC chief said there were 60,947 coronavirus cases reported to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday, with the latest seven-day rolling average at 67,440 cases.
“For context, one month ago, our seven-day average of cases was just over 53,000 per day,” Walensky said.
There are currently about 700 deaths per day in the country — with the numbers rising every day over nearly the past week, the top doc said.
The fact that children cannot yet be vaccinated is also fueling the increases, with more young people continuing to get the virus, Walensky said.
“While we’re making extraordinary strides in the number of people vaccinated, we still have an extraordinary amount of disease out there,” Walensky said.
“We know these vaccines work extraordinarily well. … However, they take some time to kick in, somewhere in the two- to six-week mark.
“If we have a lot of circulating virus today, the vaccines will work in a month, but they may not work today.”
White House coronavirus task-force chief Jeffrey Zients noted that everyone age 16 and older in the country is now eligible to get vaccinated.
Half of all American adults have already received at least their first shots of the inoculations, he said.
“It’s never been easier to get a shot,” Zients claimed.
Still, Walensky noted, “The administration of vaccines hasn’t been uniform” — with some rural areas lagging.
Zients announced that the federal Health and Human Services is dedicating $150 million to community-based health-care facilities to push vaccines in areas that are behind.