Biden’s new goal: 70% of adults at least partially vaccinated by July 4
President Joe Biden announced Tuesday a new goal to get 70% of U.S. adults at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19 by July 4.
In an address, Biden said the White House was shifting to “a new phase” of the response in an effort to vaccinate more Americans.
“Now that we have the vaccine supply, let’s focus on getting even more Americans to show up and get the vaccines that are available to them,” Biden said.
In addition to administering at least one shot of vaccine to 70% of adults, Biden said the plan is to have 160 million Americans fully vaccinated by July 4. He said the new phase would accomplish this by focusing on three groups:
- children aged 12 to 15 years, provided the FDA authorizes the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in this age group — a decision that could come as early as this week, according to multiple reports;
- people who have had trouble locating a vaccine; and
- people who are vaccine-hesitant.
If the FDA authorizes the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 years, “we are ready to move immediately” on plans to make vaccine doses available for children in around 20,000 pharmacies and to ship doses directly to pediatricians, Biden said.
“Parents and their children can talk to their family doctor about it and get the shot from a provider they trust the most — easy, fast and free,” Biden said.
Additionally, Biden said teens who will be “moving around” over the summer can get their doses in two different locations.
To find a vaccine more easily, Biden noted that people can visit a newly established website, vaccines.gov, or text their zip code to 438829 and receive a text back with locations and appointments available near them. He said the federal government was directing pharmacies to offer walk-in appointments so people would not need to schedule an appointment.
Biden also announced that, beginning next week, the federal government will ship new allocations of vaccine doses to health clinics in rural communities. This will provide those who do not live near one of the 75,000 vaccination sites with new, closer options.
“We’re going to make it easier than ever to get vaccinated,” he said.
In an effort to get those who are “less eager” vaccinated, Biden said the government will work with major businesses like supermarkets and major sports leagues to offer incentives for vaccination — for example, discounts on food or merchandise. He encouraged vaccine-hesitant Americans to speak with their physician or to people around them who have already been vaccinated and may be returning to some normal activities.
As of May 3, more than 147 million Americans had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, including more than 145 million adults, according to the CDC. More than 105 million Americans, most of them adults, have been fully vaccinated.
“I want to be absolutely clear — you do need to get vaccinated,” Biden said. “Getting vaccinated not only protects you, it also reduces the risk that you give the virus to somebody else. You could save your life, or the lives of people you love.”