Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

Biden administration officials optimistic about recent rise in U.S. vaccinations

With the Delta variant fueling another coronavirus surge in the United States, the country's vaccination rate may also be trending upward again.

Cyrus Shahpar, the White House's COVID-19 data director, revealed Saturday that more than 700,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered on Friday, including 473,000 first doses. White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain chimed in, noting that it's the first time in a "long stretch" that the U.S. had four consecutive days of administering more than 700,000 shots. He added that "we are seeing more adults get their first shot than any time in the past 8-10 weeks," and the increase is "particularly strong" in states that have been hardest hit during the Delta wave.

It's unclear if the pattern will hold or if it will prove to be a small sample size outlier, but either way it's good news. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that fully vaccinated people who contract COVID-19 tend to have similar viral loads to unvaccinated people, which suggests they can spread the virus just as easily, Axios notes that such breakthrough infections are still rare, with less than 0.1 percent of the 164 million fully vaccinated Americans having tested positive for the virus. As Brown University's Dr. Ashish Jha pointed out Saturday, if you're not infected, you can't spread.