WASHINGTON – The Biden administration has said it will start reallocating some doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to states with higher vaccine demand and direct pharmacies to offer walk-in vaccinations as the president aims to get the minus a dose of 70% of the adult population by July 4.
President Biden said on Tuesday that he also wants 160 million American adults to have the full cycle of the vaccine at this point, which he said would mean the administration of around 100 million vaccines over the next 60. days. The United States administered about 220 million vaccines in Mr Biden’s first 100 days, but the pace of vaccinations has slowed in recent weeks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 56% of American adults had received at least one dose on Monday, according to the CDC.
“We need you to bring him home,” he said. ” To get vaccinated. In two months, let’s celebrate our independence as a nation and our independence from this virus. “
The new goals are part of the next phase of the Biden administration’s immunization campaign, which will focus on tackling vaccine reluctance and removing barriers that prevent some Americans from accessing vaccines. The administration is also preparing to distribute vaccines to adolescents.
“It’s going to get more granular rather than big,” the president said of the administration’s more responsive vaccination effort.
Officials said Mr Biden’s new target was informed by infectious disease experts who estimate that a 70% vaccination rate would lead to a sharp drop in cases, hospitalizations and deaths. A senior administration official said it was not the same as collective immunity – the stage where enough Americans would be protected from the virus so that it could no longer easily spread through the community – which the manager described as an elusive number.
In addition to directing federal immunization program pharmacies to offer walk-in appointments, Mr. Biden will direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help with immunization clinics and mobile units.
Officials informed states of the new dose allocation policy during a call with governors on Tuesday morning. The effort is aimed at accounting for the fact that demand is higher in some states than in others.
Many states see appointments for unclaimed vaccines. Dozens of counties in Iowa, for example, recently turned down new vaccine shipments due to declining demand.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer called on the Biden administration last month to send additional doses to the state as the number of cases increased. At the time, the administration did not grant the request for additional doses.
When asked to explain the administration’s change in policy, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said it was because “we’re in a different phase than we are. were a few weeks ago ”, when the vaccine supply was more limited.
The federal government distributes vaccine doses to states based on population on a weekly basis. Previously, doses that were not ordered by states were carried over to the state allocation for the following week. Under the new plan, those doses could be distributed to other states that require additional injections. Unordered doses will be placed in a pool for other states to take advantage of, administration officials say. States that need more doses can order up to 50% in excess of their weekly allowance, said a person familiar with Tuesday’s call with governors.
Administration officials said it was up to individual states to decide whether they wanted to forgo their doses and offer them to other states. State allocations will not be reduced in the future if they do not order all allocated doses in a given week.
CVS Health Corp. chief executive Karen Lynch said that despite declining demand, injections remain difficult to obtain in some parts of the country. Meanwhile, part of the population is ready to be vaccinated, she said, but only if the process is incredibly convenient. Anything that helps move doses to places where takers are more willing will help overall vaccination efforts, she said.
The United States has administered more than 246.8 million doses of the vaccine, according to federal data analyzed by the Wall Street Journal. Approximately 79% of the doses distributed in the United States were administered. But the pace of daily vaccine doses administered has been declining since mid-April, according to the CDC.
States are now grappling with vaccinated citizens who live in rural areas and those who are reluctant to get vaccinated. Officials said on Tuesday they would use funding from the Covid-19 relief program Mr Biden signed earlier this year to boost education and accessibility of vaccines in rural communities.
Mr Biden also thanked Republicans such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for encouraging Americans to get vaccinated and pointed out that two of the vaccines had been approved for emergency use under the Trump administration. “While we don’t always agree on everything,” Biden said, “this is something that people from all political backgrounds can agree on. “
During the call, governors also lobbied the Biden administration over Pfizer’s potential authorization Inc. of
vaccine for children 12 to 15 years old.
Senior administration officials have said they plan to quickly make the Pfizer vaccine doses available to adolescents if the company receives emergency clearance from the FDA. Half of the pharmacies in the federal program, or more than 15,000 sites, will be ready to immunize children aged 12 to 15 and the administration will ship the doses directly to pediatricians and family physicians.
—Sharon Terlep contributed to this article.
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