On Tuesday, President Biden set a new vaccination goal to deliver at least one dose to 70% of adult Americans by the 4th of July. The new goal comes as demand for vaccines has dropped off markedly nationwide, with some states leaving more than half their vaccine doses unused. Biden is calling for states to make vaccines available on a walk-in basis and will direct many pharmacies to do the same. At the White House, Biden said: “You do need to get vaccinated. Even if your chance of getting seriously ill is low, why take the risk? It could save your life or the lives of somebody you love.”
Biden’s goal includes delivering at least the first shot to 181 million adults and fully vaccinating 160 million. More than 56% of adult Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and nearly 105 million are fully vaccinated. The U.S. is currently administering first doses at a rate of about 965,000 per day — half the rate of three weeks ago. “I’d like to get it 100%, but I think realistically we can get to that place between now and July Fourth,” Biden said.
Biden’s push comes as his administration has shifted away from setting a target for the U.S. to reach “herd immunity,” instead focusing on delivering as many shots into arms as possible. Officials said Biden’s vaccination target would result in a significant reduction in COVID-19 cases heading into the summer. The Food and Drug Administration is expected authorize the Pfizer vaccine for adolescents aged 12-15 by early next week and the White House is developing plans to speed vaccinations to that age group, hoping to deliver doses to pediatricians’ offices and other trusted locations, with the aim of getting as many adolescents vaccinated by the start of the next school year.
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