Speed Reads

two cheers!

Biden pats America on the back for hitting 200 million COVID-19 vaccinations, but demand is waning

When tomorrow's COVID-19 vaccination numbers come out, they will show that "today we hit 200 million shots in the 92nd day in office," eight days ahead of scheduled, President Biden said Wednesday. "It's an incredible achievement for the nation ... an American achievement, a powerful demonstration of unity and resolve, what unity will do for us."

With 200 million doses in people's arms, "the time is now to open up a new phase of this historic vaccination effort," Biden said. "To put it simply, if you've been waiting for your turn, wait no longer. Now's the time for everyone over 16 years of age to get vaccinated." He urged employers to give workers paid time off to get vaccinated and recover from any side effects, telling businesses they will be reimbursed.

The pace of vaccinations is slowing, and a new Kaiser Family Foundation analysis projects that enthusiasm to get vaccinated may peak in the next two to four weeks, CBS Evening News reported Wednesday night. Anecdotally, correspondent Adriana Diaz found, the U.S. pause in Johnson & Johnson vaccinations dissuaded a significant number of people to opt out of getting any vaccine.

"Unless we can convince more people who are sitting on the sidelines now, we're not going to have enough people vaccinated to hit herd immunity," Kaiser Family Foundation's Larry Levitt told CBS News. An average of 3.02 million doses of vaccine were administered each day over the last week, according to The Washington Post's vaccination tracker, which is an 11 percent drop over the previous seven days.