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Since COVID-19 vaccine distribution began in the United States on Dec. 14, 2020, more than 593 million doses have been administered, fully vaccinating over 222 million people or 66.9% of the total U.S. population. To date, 47.3% of the fully vaccinated population has received at least one booster shot as well.
Explore how the vaccine rollout is going in five graphics.
The CDC's current definition of "fully vaccinated" is two shots of the mRNA vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna or one shot of J&J. Those aged 5 and up are eligible for booster shots at least five months after a second dose of the mRNA vaccines or two months after a J&J shot.
Vaccination levels vary greatly by age
Since the start of the COVID vaccination campaign, health officials focused on reaching older Americans, who are at high risk of severe disease. People over 65 have the highest vaccination rates in the U.S., while kids ages 5 through 11 have the lowest. Young kids were first eligible for the vaccine starting in fall 2021. Vaccine authorization for children under 5 years of age is under consideration by the FDA.
How have vaccination rates changed over time?
After a slow kickoff in December 2020, the vaccine rollout sped up, surpassing President Biden's initial goal of getting 100 million vaccines into arms in his first 100 days; it reached 200 million vaccines by day 92.
Vaccination rates peaked in early April 2021 — with more than 3 million shots administered per day — and declined dramatically. Demand for vaccines surged again in fall and winter 2021 thanks to vaccine mandates in schools and workplaces, and the booster rollout.
States progress unevenly in vaccine rollout
Though vaccination rates have slowed in every state, communities have sought to increase their level of population immunity through continued vaccination campaigns. Some states have made faster progress than others.
States receive vaccine allocations from the federal government and make their own plans for how to get those vaccines out to residents. Some states are encountering hesitancy and resistance to getting vaccinated among their populations.
The Biden-Harris administration says equity is central to the country's vaccination efforts. As of November 2, anyone in the U.S. 5 and older is eligible to get a vaccine. As of May 19, anyone 5 and older can get a booster, too.
Selena Simmons-Duffin, Alyson Hurt, Tien Le, Koko Nakajima, Ruth Talbot, Thomas Wilburn and Carmel Wroth contributed to this report.