The US has seen the largest single-day number of coronavirus vaccinations in more than a month as the delta variant continues its march across the country, health authorities announced on Thursday.
Jeff Zients, US President Joe Biden's COVID-19 response coordinator, told reporters that roughly 864,000 people were vaccinated Wednesday -- the largest number since July 3. That includes 585,000 who received their first shots, the highest number since July 1, Zients added.
"Importantly we are seeing the most significant increases in states with the highest case rates," he said. "We've more than doubled the number of people newly vaccinated each day over the past three weeks in the states with the highest cases rates."
The states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama, Oklahoma and Mississippi are now seeing a vaccination uptake "at a pace not seen April," said Zients.
The uptake comes as the highly transmissible delta variant continues to push up US cases, hospitalizations and deaths, particularly in states where populations have been slow to get the jab.
The seven states with some of the lowest vaccination rates continue to account for about half of all new cases and new hospitalizations, despite accounting for about one-quarter of the US population. Florida and Texas combined continue to account for about 33% of new cases, and more than one-third of all hospitalizations.
The seven-day case average is roughly 89,463 new infections per day, an increase of 43% from the prior seven-day average, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The seven-day average of hospitalizations also jumped 41% to 7,348 per day while daily deaths increased to 381, a spike of more than 39%.
Anthony Fauci, the White House's chief medical advisor, said the administration is rushing to ensure that immunocompromised individuals receive vaccine booster shots, because "it is clear now from the observational data that was made that they do not make, in general, with some exceptions, an adequate response that we feel would be adequately protective."
"It is extremely important for us to move to get those individuals their boosters," he said. "And we are now working on that, and will make that be implemented as quickly as possible, because for us, and for the individuals involved it is a very high priority."