Half of children aged 12 to 17 have received at least their first vaccination dose against COVID-19, and the age group is seeing the fastest growth rate in vaccinations, the White House said on Friday.
The announcement comes as children across the United States begin a new school year and vaccinations in general are at an eight-week high, with the highest single-day total of vaccinations since July 3: 1.1 million doses on Thursday.
"We have now hit a major milestone in our effort to vaccinate adolescents, 50% of 12 to 17 year olds now have at least their first shot," White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters.
"And, in fact, the vaccination rate among adolescents is growing faster than any other age group," he added.
Zients also said the United States is seeing continued momentum for stronger vaccination requirements from employers.
The seven-day average of COVID-19 cases was up by about 3% at about 142,000, said U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, and the average of COVID-related deaths over the past seven days are up 11% at 864. The seven-day average of hospitalizations is up 6% at about 12,000.
(Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein and Susan Heavey; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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