The new vaccination targets, detailed by senior administration officials ahead of Biden’s official unveiling at 2:30 p.m. ET, came two months from Independence Day, a date the White House hopes will mark a turning point in the pandemic .
“We’re going to look different as a country than we do today” after 70% of adults have received at least one shot, an official told reporters on a call.
“There are going to be, clearly, a lot less public health restrictions,” the official 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, or FEMA, 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 funds from the $ 1.9 trillion Covid relief law would be allocated to rural health clinics and hospitals.
As of Monday, more than 145 million Americans aged 18 and older, 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 vaccinating 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.
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