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Pennsylvania Marks Milestone With 50% Of Adults Statewide Fully Vaccinated

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Pennsylvania marked a milestone on Thursday, with 50% of adults statewide now considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The Wolf administration says it will lift an order requiring unvaccinated people to wear masks in public once 70% of Pennsylvanians aged 18 and older are fully vaccinated, meaning at least two weeks beyond the last required dose.

That percentage stood at 50% on Thursday, according to federal data, while 68% of adults had at least one shot.

The pace of vaccinations has been slowing for weeks, with most people eager to get the shot already having done so. Health Department data provided to The Associated Press shows Pennsylvania ordered only about a quarter of the vaccine doses to which it was entitled last week, signaling a steep drop-off in demand.

More than 65,000 people a day are getting vaccinated, according to the Health Department, down from an average of more than 100,000 people per day a month ago. That does not include Philadelphia, which runs its own vaccination program and is also reporting lower demand.

The good news: Newly confirmed coronavirus infections are falling rapidly in Pennsylvania — down almost 50% in two weeks — as the weather warms and more people get vaccinated. Hospitalizations are down, too. Gov. Tom Wolf plans to lift nearly all remaining pandemic restrictions on Memorial Day.

State health officials were planning to address the vaccine rollout later Thursday.

(©Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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