And that includes younger Americans, some of whom still are hesitant or may think they don’t have as much to fear from the virus.
And there’s another major reason young people shouldn’t turn away from the shot: long-term consequences of Covid-19.
“One critical way to prevent long Covid is to prevent Covid itself,” National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins said at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on Wednesday.
“Even for young people who consider their risk of severe Covid to be low, the long-term consequences can be quite serious,” he added. “So long Covid represents one more reason to encourage everyone age 16 and over to get vaccinated as quickly as possible.”
‘How many people are going to have to die?’
“West Virginians from 16 to 35 years of age are transmitting this thing faster than anyone,” the governor said. “How many people are we going to have to put in body bags? How many people are going to have to die?”
The governor said roughly 52% of the state’s eligible population has received at least a dose of vaccine and his goal is to get to more than 70% of eligible residents fully vaccinated.
That he said, will mean “we’ll be able to get rid of the masks and get life back to normal.”
“Our young people have had to stand up a lot of times over the years in West Virginia,” the governor said. “Most of the time they were standing up to go to war. I’m not asking for you to go to war. I’m asking you to do something that could very well save your life, or save the life of your mom, your dad, your grandparents, and all your loved ones.”
Governors offer road maps to normalcy
Other governors across the US have opted to incentivize vaccinations by offering a timeline for a return to normal.
State officials say that could be as early as the end of June.
“I believe that New Mexico, by some time in June, will have fully vaccinated enough of our state that we can shed these restrictions and frameworks and instead move closer to a simpler new phase, from fighting to ultimately monitoring the pandemic,” the governor said in a statement.
“We are close and getting closer. But that all depends on New Mexicans continuing to get their shots when it’s their turn,” she added.
About half of the state’s adults currently have gotten at least one shot, he said.
“The fastest way to put this pandemic behind us once and for all is for every single eligible Marylander to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” Hogan said.
What a new study shows about the vaccines
CDC and government officials continue to highlight the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines.
That study also found the vaccines were 64% effective among those older adults who were partially vaccinated, meaning they had only received one dose of the vaccines so far.
The findings are consistent with the vaccines’ clinical trial results, which showed an efficacy of about 94% to 95%, researchers from the CDC and several other institutions noted.
“COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective and these real-world findings confirm the benefits seen in clinical trials, preventing hospitalizations among those most vulnerable,” Walensky said in a news release on Wednesday.
“The results are promising for our communities and hospitals. As our vaccination efforts continue to expand, COVID-19 patients will not overwhelm health care systems — leaving hospital staff, beds, and services available for people who need them for other medical conditions,” she added.
CNN’s Ryan Prior, Jacqueline Howard, Rebekah Riess, Jamiel Lynch, Andy Rose and Hannah Sorisohn contributed to this report.