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Nearly 55 percent of US seniors have gotten at least first COVID-19 shot

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Nearly 55 percent of Americans age 65 or older have gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot,  the White House said Friday.

“Six weeks ago, only 8 percent of seniors — those most vulnerable to COVID — had received a vaccination. Today, nearly 55 percent of people age 65 or older have received at least one shot,” Andy Slavitt, senior adviser to President Biden’s coronavirus response team, said during a White House press briefing.

“Altogether, we’ve administered more than 82 million shots — more than any country in the world,” Slavitt said.

Getting shots in seniors’ arms is crucial because people over 65 make up nearly 80 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the US, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In an effort to roll out the shots swiftly, Slavitt said, two new mass vaccination sites run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency will soon open, bringing the total to 18 nationally.

“We are announcing the addition of two new FEMA-supported high-volume sites. The Atlanta Falcons Stadium in Georgia and the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio, will turn into FEMA-supported community vaccination sites with the capacity to deliver 6,000 shots per day each,” Slavitt said. “Both of these sites sit in neighborhoods hit hard by the pandemic and are well known in the community.”

Overall, the federal government has opened or expanded more than 450 community vaccination sites in an effort to fight the coronavirus, he said.

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