By Betsy Klein, CNN
The White House will tout a series of positive milestones for the administration’s pandemic response Tuesday as the nation experiences rising Covid-19 cases and concerns about the new Omicron variant.
It comes as the US is experiencing rising cases — the highest case count since September — with nearly 60,000 people currently hospitalized in the US and nearly 1,600 people dying every 24 hours. Scientists are also rushing to learn more in the coming days about the spreading Omicron variant. Multiple cases of the variant have been detected in the US after the Biden administration imposed travel restrictions on eight African countries last week.
But there is some progress in critical efforts to stop the spread of the virus through vaccinations.
“Just in the last week, we’ve gotten 12.5 million total shots in arms. That’s our highest weekly total since May,” White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients will say at Tuesday’s White House Covid-19 response team briefing, according to his prepared remarks shared with CNN.
Zients, who will be joined in the briefing by Biden medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, will also note progress on booster shots.
“In the last week alone, we have gotten nearly 7 million people a booster. A million booster shots in arms a day, that’s more people getting a booster shot per day than ever before,” he will say.
And, Zients will say, 5 million children ages 5 to 11 will have received at least their first shot as of Tuesday.
The efforts to boost vaccinations at home, where 71% of Americans have received at least their first shot and 60% are fully vaccinated, comes as the administration is also ramping up its efforts to share doses abroad.
Zients will announce the United States has shipped over 300 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine across the globe as of Tuesday morning and is expected to have shipped 2 million more by the afternoon briefing, Zients will announce. That is more vaccine doses shipped abroad than all countries combined, per a White House official.
Since President Joe Biden announced administration efforts to boost vaccine manufacturing to increase the global supply in November, the official said, 19 million doses have shipped.
The US has pledged to donate to more than 1 billion Covid-19 vaccines to low- and lower-middle-income countries around the world to help end the pandemic. The President has also called on other world leaders to increase their vaccine donations to countries that need them the most to help end the pandemic.
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