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Covid-19 vaccinations decline to new lows

Daily doses have fallen to the lowest level since the start of the vaccination effort.
Nurse practitioner Dawn Kaiser administers a COVID-19 vaccination
Nurse practitioner Dawn Kaiser administers a Covid-19 vaccination dose to a person at a clinic operated by DePaul Community Health Center at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans on Aug. 13.Mario Tama / Getty Images file

Americans have stopped rolling up their sleeves for Covid-19 vaccinations, as data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows daily vaccinations have fallen to their lowest rate in more than a year.

The U.S. is averaging approximately 322,000 shots a day, which includes first, second and booster shots. That’s down from a peak of 3.3 million average shots in April, when vaccinations were opened up to all adults, and is the lowest level since January 2021, the vaccination effort's first month when shots were limited to health care workers, essential workers and older adults.

The urgency around vaccinations may be slowing as the omicron wave recedes, with the U.S. averaging 47,300 new cases a day, according to an NBC News tally — a level not seen since July.

The decline in cases has led states to lift their mask and vaccine mandates and prompted President Joe Biden to declare in his State of the Union speech last week, "It's time for Americans to get back to work."

But the slowdown comes as about 77 million Americans — 23 percent of the total U.S. population, including virtually all children under age 5 — remain unvaccinated.

Most of the shots being administered in the U.S. are boosters, which have outpaced first doses since October. But CDC data shows the booster effort is also slowing, as the country is averaging 96,000 boosters a day, down from a peak of 1.2 million in late November. Half of those eligible for the shot, about 87 million people, have yet to get a booster.