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Anthony S. Fauci said even as cities and states open up and lift pandemic restrictions, that doesn’t mean the campaign to get more coronavirus vaccine shots in arms is over.

“Opening up is not synonymous with stopping the push to vaccinate people,” the nation’s top infectious-disease expert said Thursday at a briefing. “We’re going to continue to push vaccination beyond the Fourth of July, into the summer.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 65 percent of adults in the United States have gotten at least one vaccine dose, with about 2½ weeks until July 4, by which time President Biden wants at least 70 percent of adults partially vaccinated.

During the briefing, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the seven-day coronavirus case average has plummeted 95 percent since Jan. 10, and the seven-day average of daily deaths is below 300 for the first time since March 27, 2020.

“These numbers make it clear getting vaccinated gets us back to normal,” she said.

Here are some significant developments:

  • The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan has been forced to shut down almost all operations due to a covid-19 outbreak that has already killed at least one staff member, sent 114 into quarantine and forced several people to be medically evacuated, the Associated Press reported.
  • Africa is in “the midst of a full-blown third wave” of the coronavirus pandemic as cases across the continent have risen more than 20 percent in the past week and deaths have increased by 15 percent, an Africa representative for the World Heath Organization said Thursday.
  • A government study in Britain said 90 percent of new coronavirus cases in the country are the delta variant, and it is growing rapidly, according to test results from 100,000 people — further justification to postpone the total reopening that had been set for June 21.
  • A coronavirus vaccine candidate invented by CureVac, a German company, proved just 47 percent effective at its interim analysis, a disappointing result that may highlight the challenge posed by virus variants.
  • The European Union will recommend lifting restrictions on U.S. travelers on Friday, a long-anticipated move that will allow a return to near-normal travel to and from the bloc for the first time since the pandemic began, according to diplomats.
  • Singapore, which has one of the highest inoculation rates in Asia, is reconsidering a plan to move further out of limited lockdown next week as it battles a small but virulent cluster of infections.