White House highlights 'significant' rise in vaccinations

White House officials highlighted a "significant" rise in COVID-19 vaccination rates Aug. 5, as nearly 83 percent of U.S. counties have "substantial" or "high" viral transmission, The Hill reported. 

The national vaccination rate reached its highest level since early last month, with 864,000 doses administered Aug. 4, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said, according to The Hill

About 585,000 of those shots were first doses going to previously unvaccinated people. 

Mr. Zients said the vaccination rates in Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama, Oklahoma and Mississippi have reached levels not seen since April. 

"Importantly, we're seeing the most significant increases in the states with the highest case rates. We've more than doubled the average number of people newly vaccinated each day over the past three weeks in the states with the highest case rates," Mr. Zients told The Hill. 

Seven states — Florida, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi — account for roughly half of new cases and hospitalizations in the last week, though they make up less than a quarter of the population, The Hill reported. They have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the U.S. 

"Clearly, Americans are seeing the impact of being unvaccinated and unprotected, and they’re responding by doing their part, rolling up their sleeves and getting vaccinated," Mr. Zients said.

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