The data comes as flu season is around the corner, which could increase death tolls and put more of a strain on hospitals that are already struggling with an influx of patients and depleted resources.

More than 312,000 people have initiated the vaccination process — or getting their first shot — over the last week, CDC data shows. That’s a 7% drop from last week and a 35% drop from the previous month.

An average of 742,703 doses are being administered each day and about 182 million people, or 54.9%, of the US population, are fully vaccinated, the data shows. That leaves 71 million people, or 25.1% of the eligible population, who are not vaccinated.

“We are bracing ourselves for an awfully busy winter ahead,” Dr. Megan Ranney, associate dean of the School of Public Health at Brown…