WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is setting a new vaccination target to deliver at least one dose to 70% of American adults by July 4, the White House said on Tuesday, as the administration strives to facilitate the vaccination of people and to bring the country closer to normality.
The new target, which also includes fully immunizing 160 million adults by Independence Day, comes as demand for vaccines has declined sharply nationwide, with some states leaving more than half of their doses vaccine without a prescription. Biden will ask states to make vaccines available without an appointment and order many pharmacies to do the same, and his administration is moving for the first time to moving doses from states with lower demand to areas with greater interest in vaccines. .
Biden’s goal is a tacit acknowledgment of the decline in interest in shooting. Already more than 56% of adult Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and nearly 105 million are fully immunized. The United States is currently administering the first doses at a rate of about 965,000 per day – half the rate from three weeks ago, but almost twice as fast as needed to meet Biden’s goal.
Senior administration officials previewed the announcement Tuesday ahead of Biden’s scheduled White House speech. It comes as the Biden administration has moved away from setting a target for the United States to achieve “collective immunity” but instead focuses on delivering as many hits as possible to the guns. . Officials said Biden’s vaccination target would result in a significant reduction in COVID-19 cases as summer approaches.
To that end, the Biden administration is shifting government attention to expanding smaller, mobile vaccination clinics to deliver doses to harder-to-reach communities. It is also deploying hundreds of millions of dollars to try to stimulate interest in vaccines through education campaigns and access to vaccines through community organizations that can help get people to clinics.
Ahead of the Food and Drug Administration’s planned approval of the Pfizer vaccine for teens ages 12 to 15 early next week, the White House is also making plans to speed up vaccinations for this age group. Biden, the White House said, would “challenge” states to administer at least one dose to this age group by July 4 and to work to deliver doses to pediatrician offices and others. trusted places, with the aim of having as many of them vaccinated completely. at the start of the next school year.
While younger people are at considerably lower risk of serious complications from COVID-19, they have made up a larger share of new cases of the virus, as the majority of American adults have been at least partially vaccinated and as active at higher risk like meals inside and contact. sports have resumed in most of the country. Officials hope that expanding vaccinations to adolescents will further accelerate the reduction in the number of virus cases in the country and allow schools to reopen with minimal disruption this fall.
Biden’s speech comes as the White House announced it was dropping a strict vaccine allocation by population. The administration says that when states refuse their allocated vaccine, that surplus will shift to states that are still waiting for doses to meet demand. These states would have the vaccines available whenever demand for vaccines in their states increases – a key priority for the Biden administration.
Governors were notified of the change by the White House on Tuesday morning. The Washington Post first reported on the new allocation.
This week, Iowa refused nearly three-quarters of the vaccine doses available to the state for next week by the federal government as demand for the vaccines remains low.
The White House had previously resisted efforts to move the vaccine by parameters other than population, with Biden fending off Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer last month when she requested more doses as her state saw an increase in numbers virus cases. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at the time that almost all states command at or near their population allowances, which is no longer the case.
Individual states have made similar changes internally to accommodate changing demand. Last week, Washington state changed the way it allocates the coronavirus vaccine to its counties. Previously, the state distributed supplies to counties in proportion to their population. But Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday the amounts will now be based on claims from health care providers.