The U.S. recorded the highest number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in a single day in more than a month.
On Wednesday, there were nearly 864,000 shots in arms, including 585,000 Americans getting their first doses.
Several of the states with the highest vaccine demand are also those seeing the worst Covid surges, such as Florida, where daily vaccinations have jumped by about 67 percent in the past month.
The upticks come as the Indian ‘Delta’ variant drives a rapid case rise and both governments and businesses announce vaccine requirements for workers and customers.
‘Clearly, Americans are seeing the impact of being unvaccinated and unprotected, and they respond by doing their part, rolling up their sleeve, and getting vaccinated,’ Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator, said at a press briefing on Thursday.
SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO
The U.S. recorded nearly 864,000 Covid vaccinations on Wednesday, including 585,000 first doses – the highest daily count in more than a month, Zients announced
Daily vaccinations in the U.S. have more than doubled in the past three weeks in states with the highest case rates, Zients said
After millions of Americans eagerly waited in line for vaccination in the winter and spring, the vaccine demand slowed in the summer.
Now, however, vaccinations are ticking back up as Americans seek to protect themselves against the rapidly-spreading Delta variant.
On August 5, the U.S. reported 864,000 new Covid vaccines administered the previous day, which is the highest single-day total since July 3.
That number included 585,000 first doses – Americans getting newly vaccinated with the first shot in a two-dose series – which is a figure not seen since July 1.
Some of the states seeing the fastest-growing vaccine demand are also the states with the highest case rates.
‘We’ve more than doubled the average number of people newly vaccinated each day over the past three weeks in the states with the highest case rates,’ Zients said.
Florida and Texas are bearing the brunt of the current Covid surge. These two states have accounted for one-third of new cases and hospitalizations in the past week.
Several other southern states are also seeing disproportionately high case rates – Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi.
Together with Florida and Texas, these seven states make up half of new U.S. cases and hospitalizations in the past week – but make up less than a quarter of the total population.
Some residents in these states are responding to the Covid wave by getting vaccinated.
In Florida, daily vaccinations have increased from 40,000 a day in mid-July to 67,000 as of August 5.
Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Oklahoma are all reporting vaccination numbers not seen since April, at the height of the spring vaccination effort, Zients said.
In Florida, daily vaccinations have increased from 40,000 a day in mid-July to 67,000 a day
In Tennessee, daily vaccinations have increased from 8,000 a day to 14,000 a day in the past three weeks
Other states are picking up the pace as well.
Tennessee, for example, has seen a 90 percent increase in first doses over the past two weeks. Oklahoma has seen an 82 percent increase.
‘Clearly, Americans are seeing the impact of being unvaccinated and unprotected, and they respond by doing their part, rolling up their sleeve, and getting vaccinated,’ Zients said.
Recent survey data from the Kaiser Family Foundation reflects this trend.
About one-fifth of unvaccinated Americans surveyed by the research nonprofit said that Covid variant news made them more likely to get their shots.
Zients additionally cited vaccination requirements from governments and businesses as a driver of the trend.
Federal workers and contractors now must be vaccinated or wear a mask at work and get regularly tested for Covid.
Businesses from Disney to Google are also requiring vaccinations for workers.
Many small businesses are requiring vaccines as well. Yelp announced Thursday that the app has introduced a ‘Covid vaccine filter,’ allowing users to specifically search for restaurants that require vaccination.
Colleges and universities are also following the trend. Almost 650 schools are requiring vaccination for on-campus employees and students, Zients said.
Medical schools and healthcare providers are doing the same.
On Wednesday, Massachusetts state officials announced that vaccination will be required for all staff in nursing homes.
Despite the rising numbers, it could take months for under-vaccinated states to catch up to states like Vermont, where over 80 percent of the eligible population has received at least one shot.
Public health experts say that continued communication and partnerships with local organizations will be needed to drive up vaccinations as the Delta surge continues.