WASHINGTON, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Vaccination rates against COVID-19 in the United States have risen by more than 20 percentage points after multiple institutions adopted vaccine requirements, while case numbers and deaths from the virus are down, Biden administration officials said on Wednesday. White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters that 77% of eligible Americans had received at least one shot of a vaccine. Vaccination rates went up thanks to mandates put into place by private businesses, healthcare systems, social institutions and state and local governments, he said in a briefing. President Joe Biden’s team has struggled to vanquish the coronavirus pandemic because a large swath of the U.S. population continues to resist taking safe and widely available vaccines. Biden last month announced policies requiring most healthcare workers and federal employees to get COVID-19 vaccinations and push large employers to have their workers inoculated or tested weekly, […]

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