“If we could just buy ourselves another couple of weeks and not really see a take off of infection anywhere in the country, I think we’ll be at the point where we’ll have enough vaccine in the population ... that it’s going to be a pretty significant backstop — combined with the warming weather— against really a fourth wave” of infections,” Gottlieb said. He also cited that many states are making vaccines available for everyone over the age of 16.
“I think we’ll achieve that,” he said. “It’s a little touch and go over the next two weeks because we are seeing some rises in some parts of the country, but it’s probably going to be regionalized. It’s probably just going to be certain states that see their cases go up.”
According to the weekly COVID-19 vaccine update, around 28 percent of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 15.5 percent are fully vaccinated.
“When Israel hit about 25% of their population vaccinated, that’s when they started to see the [case] declines that were ascribed to the vaccination. We’re right about at that tipping point,” Gottlieb said. COVID cases have been rising slightly in 30 states according to seven-day moving averages compiled by Johns Hopkins University data.
Hospitalizations are still down more than 71 percent from early January, according to the CDC.