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Since COVID-19 vaccine distribution began in the United States on Dec. 14, 2020, more than 581 million doses have been administered, fully vaccinating over 220 million people or 66.4% of the total U.S. population. To date, 46.3% of the fully vaccinated population has received at least one booster shot as well.
Explore how the vaccine rollout is going in five graphics.
Currently, three COVID-19 vaccines are available in the U.S. For the mRNA vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, health officials recommend two shots plus a booster; for Johnson & Johnson they recommend one shot plus a booster of an mRNA vaccine.
The CDC's current definition of "fully vaccinated" is two shots of the mRNA vaccines or one shot of J&J. Vaccine recipients 12 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.
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 by early July.
Demand for vaccines rose later last summer as delta surged around the country. Vaccine mandates in schools and workplaces, and the booster rollout contributed to a further increase in daily doses in the fall.
Everyone in the country aged 5 and up is eligible for the vaccines. Vaccine authorization for children under 5 years of age is under consideration and awaiting clinical trial data.
States progress unevenly in vaccine rollout
Though vaccination rates have slowed in every state, communities are seeking to increase their level of population immunity through continued vaccination campaigns. Some states have made faster progress than others.
When people have prior immunity to the coronavirus through infection, vaccination or both, they're less likely to get severely ill and require hospitalization. To bolster immunity, public health officials recommend that everyone eligible get vaccinated against the disease, including those who were previously infected.
In the race to vaccinate their residents, Puerto Rico, along with some states in the Northeast, have been leading the way. Some states in the Southeast and Midwest are lagging.
States receive vaccine allocations from the federal government. Each state has its own plan for how to get those vaccines out to its residents — through county health offices, hospital systems, pharmacies, mass vaccination sites and mobile clinics. 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, and anyone 12 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.