40 million vaccine doses thus far unused; 35% of American adults have had a shot: live COVID-19 updates

More than 50 million Americans are now fully vaccinated, nearly 20% of the adult population, and more than 35% of adults have received at least one dose, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

But while 140 million doses have been administered across the nation, another 40 million doses delivered to state health agencies and private pharmacies have thus far gone unused or just been wasted. The U.S. is now averaging about 2.5 million jabs per day, so 40 million doses equals more than two weeks of jabs.

The pace is picking up. The U.S. had 3.5 million vaccine doses administered on Saturday and 3.4 million on Friday. U.S. is now administering about 18.8 million doses per week, up from 11.5 million just a month ago and 8.1 million two months ago.

To get more vaccine into arms faster, about half of U.S. states will open up their vaccination efforts to all adults by mid-April, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients says. In all, 46 states and the District of Columbia have already pledged to meet President Joe Biden’s goal of having all Americans eligible for a vaccine by May 1.

Also in the news:

► Spanish indie band Love of Lesbian played a show in Barcelona, Spain, before 5,000 fans who all passed a same-day coronavirus screening, to test its effectiveness in preventing outbreaks of the virus at large cultural events. The only rule inside the show was the strict use of the high-quality face masks provided by the concert organizers.

► New York has launched the nation’s first “vaccine passports” system. The certification, called the Excelsior Pass, will be useful at large-scale venues such as Madison Square Garden and will be accepted at dozens of event, arts and entertainment venues statewide.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has over 30.2 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 548,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 126.8 million cases and 2.7 million deaths. More than 180.6 million vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S. and 140.1 million have been administered, according to the CDC.

📘 What we’re reading: Robert Redfield, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told CNN he believes the virus that causes COVID-19 was accidentally released from a lab in Wuhan, China. Several scientists said Redfield’s theory did not pass the scientific smell test.

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