Biden aims to vaccinate 70% of US adults by July 4
President Joe Biden yesterday announced a goal to have 70% of US adults vaccinated with at least one Covid-19 shot by the July 4 Independence Day holiday, and urged young people in their 20s and 30s in particular to get inoculated.
The president, who has made fighting the coronavirus a key priority of his administration, had previously announced July 4 as a target date for when Americans can gather in small groups to signal a return to greater normalcy in the middle of the pandemic.
Biden’s new goal comes as the administration faces increasing, though not unexpected, challenges of getting shots into the arms of people who are hesitant about the vaccine.
The new target takes that reality into account.
“Now that we have the vaccine supply, we’re focused on convincing even more Americans to show up and get the vaccine that is available to them,” Biden told reporters at the White House while announcing his target.”If we succeed in this effort…then Americans will have taken a serious step towards a return to normal.”
Biden’s new goal includes having 160mn adults fully vaccinated by the Fourth of July.
An administration official told reporters that at this time 105mn Americans are fully vaccinated and more than 56% of US adults, or 147mn people, have received at least one shot.
“There are a lot of younger people, especially those in their 20s and 30s who believe they don’t need it. Well, I want to be absolutely clear: You do need to get vaccinated,” Biden said.
The president’s goal would result in roughly half of the entire US population being vaccinated by early July.
US officials are gearing up to administer vaccines to adolescents once approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
To meet the president’s target, the government will work to make the vaccine even more accessible by having thousands of pharmacies allow walk-in appointments and using the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) “to support more pop-up clinics,” the White House said in a statement.
Biden added that he expects to hold a summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during a June trip to Europe. “That is my hope and expectation,” Biden said. Biden in April offered a meeting in a third country to discuss rising tensions over Russian sabre rattling around Ukraine, the treatment of jailed Putin opponent Alexei Navalny, and other flashpoints.
A summit has not been confirmed but a Putin adviser, Yury Ushakov, has said planning is underway.
Biden is scheduled to attend a G7 summit in Britain in mid-June, followed by Nato and EU summits in Brussels, which would open the door to the logistics of a separate Putin meeting.
Austria and Finland have expressed interest in hosting the summit.