Daily vaccination rates have slowed over the past week, just as the Biden administration meets its goal of administering 200 million shots in 100 days.
Roughly 1.8 million shots were administered on Tuesday in the United States, the lowest daily total since April 6, according to Bloomberg. Immunization rates have leveled off over the past week at about 3 million shots per day after reaching a seven-day record of about 3.4 million on April 13.
The plateau in vaccinations comes about a week after federal regulators recommended a pause on administering the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, pending an investigation into the possible link between the shot and a handful of reports of rare and severe blood clots.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause was a blow to healthcare providers in remote areas that rely on the vaccine, which is easier to transfer and store than the two-shot Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. While reports of clotting are rare, the Biden administration acted out of an “abundance of caution,” according to acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Janet Woodcock.
The single-shot vaccine was also crucial to getting shots into the arms of people who are homebound, live long distances from vaccination sites, or are generally reluctant to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Public confidence in the shot plummeted from 52% to 37% after the administration announced the pause, according to a recent YouGov poll.
More than half of U.S. adults have received at least one shot. Public health officials will have to appeal to vaccine holdouts who are unwilling to get the shots despite widespread access in urban and remote areas now that the U.S. is on track to have more than enough shots to cover every adult in the country by July.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden touted his administration’s success in meeting its goal of giving 200 million shots within his first 100 days in office. That goal was initially 100 million shots in 100 days, which public health experts deemed too unambitious.
“The time is now to open up a new phase of this historic vaccination effort,” Biden said. “To put it simply, if you’ve been waiting for your turn, wait no longer. Now is the time for everyone over 16 years of age to get vaccinated.”