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US hits new vaccination record as COVID cases, hospitalizations rise

The Biden administration said Saturday the U.S. administered more than 4 million COVID-19 shots in one day, setting a new record.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Monday officials are watching rising COVID-19 case counts with concern, but are encouraged by the number of Americans who are getting vaccinated. 

The CDC reported Saturday that more than 4 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine were administered in the previous 24 hours, setting a new daily record. The Biden administration noted the U.S. is now averaging more than 3 million vaccines administered per day. 

Walensky stressed during Monday's White House COVID-19 response briefing that they are seeing some "concerning data trends" as cases and hospitalizations continue to rise. 

The CDC director said there are around 64,000 new cases a day, up about 7% compared to the prior 7-day period and hospital admissions are up about 3%, averaging 4,970 per day. 

She added that the data shows cases are increasing nationally, predominantly among younger adults and they believe the increases are due in part to more highly transmissible variants.

As U.S. health leaders stress not to become lax on virus spread mitigation measures like wearing a mask or socially distancing, vaccination rates are still at a level that many would like to see improve. 

During Monday's briefing, the White House announced it was opening three new mass vaccinations sites. These sites will be located at the Minnesota State Fair grounds, the Colorado State Fair grounds and at the Columbia Place Mall in Columbia, South Carolina. 

White House senior advisor for COVID-19 response Andy Slavitt noted the 25 mass vaccination sites already in place around the country have the ability to administer 95,000 shots per day combined. 

As of Sunday, CDC data showed around 18.5% of Americans have been fully vaccinated so far.

On Friday, the CDC updated its guidance to say fully vaccinated people can travel within the U.S. without getting tested for the coronavirus or going into quarantine afterward.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. 

The United States now has over 30 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

As of the first week in April, the U.S. had more than 555,000 deaths related to the virus. Worldwide, there are more than 131 million confirmed cases with more than 2.8 million deaths.

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