Biden wants 70% with at least 1 shot by July 4
President Joe biden on Tuesday announced the latest goals of his administration in the fight against the coronavirus: Ensure that 70% of American adults receive at least one dose of a Covid vaccine and that 160 million adults are fully vaccinated by July 4.
The new vaccination targets came two months from Independence Day, a date on which White House hopes will mark turning point in pandemic.
“If we are successful in this effort,” Biden told the White House, “then the Americans will have taken a serious step towards a return to normalcy.”
In a telephone interview with reporters earlier Tuesday, senior administration officials also said the White House would change the way it allocates vaccines to states. Covid vaccines that are unused or unwanted by some states will be redistributed to others, officials said.
In order to administer tens of millions of additional vaccines in the next 61 days, the president will take additional steps to encourage more people to get vaccinated and make it easier for them, officials said.
Biden will ask thousands of local pharmacies to provide walk-in vaccines to walk-in people, an official said. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will also support pop-up and mobile clinics, which cater to people who might otherwise have difficulty reaching vaccination sites.
The White House is also preparing to “be able to mobilize immediately” if the Food and Drug Administration approves Pfizer’s Covid vaccine for people aged 12 to 15 for emergency use, an official said.
Administration officials also said more than $ 1.9 trillion in Covid relief law funding would be allocated to rural health clinics and hospitals.
The new goal is coming as the rate of daily shots slows down, to an average of 2.3 million vaccinations reported per day Monday, against 3.4 million on April 13.
As of Monday, more than 145 million Americans aged 18 and over, or 56.3% of the total adult population, had received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the CDC, approximately 104.7 million Americans aged 18 and older, or 40.6% of the total adult population, are fully immunized.
Reaching the 70% figure does not mean the United States has achieved so-called herd immunity to the virus, officials noted on the call.
Some health experts have argued that between 70% and 85% of the U.S. population must be vaccinated against Covid to gain herd immunity – the point at which enough people in a given community have antibodies to a specific disease.
But an official said herd immunity was actually more “elusive” and the United States should focus only on vaccinating as many people as possible to reduce hospitalizations and deaths.
“Covid-19 will vary in its degree and its dynamics depending on the community,” according to the official. “Thus, each community must individually strive to achieve the goal of immunizing 70% of its population by July 4.”
Biden, who made Covid his main focus when he took office on January 20, previously identified July 4 as an important date in the United States’ fight against the pandemic.
During his first prime-time speech to the nation in March, Biden set a goal for Americans to be able to come together in person with their friends and loved ones in small groups to celebrate the holidays.
“If we all do our part, this country will soon be vaccinated, our economy will be on the mend, our children will be back in school and we will have proven once again that this country can do it all,” Biden said. at this time.