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Vaccinating a high percentage of the population against COVID-19 is a crucial part of the U.S. strategy to curb the pandemic.
Since COVID-19 vaccine distribution began in the United States on Dec. 14, more than 215 million doses have been administered, fully vaccinating over 87.6 million people or 26.4% of the total U.S. population.
Explore how the vaccine rollout is going in the following five graphics, built using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Currently, two of the three COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use require a two-shot regimen to reach full vaccination. The third vaccine requires just one shot.
How have vaccination rates changed over time?
After a slow kickoff in December, vaccine administration has steadily improved in scale and efficiency.
By late March, the United States was administering more than 3 million shots per day. The country reached President Biden's initial goal of 100 million vaccines into arms in his first 100 days by day 58 of his administration; and surpassed 200 million vaccines by day 92.
"We've turned a corner," says Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers. "We're just getting vaccine out, day in and day out, and we're making progress."
Looking ahead: Projected dates for vaccination coverage
Researchers have estimated that around 70% to 85% of the country needs to be immune to the coronavirus for COVID-19 to stop spreading through communities and peter out.
People who have recovered from a coronavirus infection may have existing protection against reinfection. However, it's unclear how strong this natural immunity is and how long it lasts, so public health officials recommend that all adults get vaccinated against the disease, including those who were previously infected.
States progress unevenly in vaccine rollout
In the race to vaccinate their residents, some states with smaller populations have been leading the way.
States receive vaccine allocations based on their total adult populations. 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 — and some states are making more efficient use of their supplies than others.
The federal government has started to play a larger role in distribution by sending vaccines directly to some pharmacy chains, community health centers and Federal Emergency Management Agency-supported sites.
The Biden-Harris administration worked to increase the supply of vaccines, trained vaccinators and places to give them out. As of April 19, anyone in the U.S. 16 and older is eligible to get a vaccine.
Selena Simmons-Duffin, Ruth Talbot, Thomas Wilburn and Carmel Wroth contributed to this report.