May 01, 2021
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About this Deal
The United States has fully vaccinated more than 100 million people against Covid-19, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- a milestone that comes with optimism about the future.
"I think we can confidently say the worst is behind us," the Dean of Brown University School of Public Health Dr. Ashish Jha said Friday on "Good Morning America." "We will not see the kinds of sufferings and death that we have seen over the holidays. I think we are in a much better shape heading forward."
The only thing that could threaten the outlook, he said, was the spread of coronavirus variants, making the push to increase vaccinations even more critical.
Although the vaccination milestone means that nearly 40% of adults have been inoculated, the US still has a ways to go to reach herd immunity -- which would be when 70-85% of the population is vaccinated, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci. And health officials say that the only way to keep bringing down the death rate is to increase vaccination efforts.
A lower death rate and higher vaccination rate would make it reasonable to target a full reopening by July 1, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Friday.
"We are focused on getting people vaccinated, decreasing the case rates," she said in a White House Covid-19 news briefing. "If we can continue at this pace, case rates are coming down, vaccinations going up, then I think July 1 would be a reasonable target."
But, she cautioned, "the virus has tricked us before," and it will be crucial to keep an eye on cases in the coming months.