“The data couldn’t be clearer. If you are vaccinated, you are safe. You are still at risk of becoming seriously ill or dying if you have not in fact been vaccinated. It’s just a fact, ”Biden told the audience.
Public health officials and the Biden administration are particularly concerned that unvaccinated individuals could accelerate the spread of new, more transmissible variants of the virus.
During his remarks, Biden warned that the Delta variant of Covid-19 is dangerous and is “now the most common variant in America”.
“And unvaccinated people are incredibly vulnerable,” he continued, noting that the Delta variant is “more easily transmitted”, “potentially more deadly and particularly dangerous for young people”.
While in Raleigh, the president also visited a mobile vaccination unit and met with frontline workers and field volunteers who are vaccinating community members.
Vice President Kamala Harris, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff and First Lady Jill Biden also took part in events Thursday encouraging more Americans to get vaccinated.
The events are part of a larger administration-wide campaign to get more Americans vaccinated, which comes as the nation nears Biden’s July 4 deadline of getting 70% of Americans to the minus one Covid-19 shot and 160 million fully vaccinated Americans. But this week, the White House admitted it would fall short of the president’s target.
In North Carolina, about 38.8% of residents are fully immunized. Nationally, about 45.4% of the total population has been fully vaccinated, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters earlier this week that the country is on track to meet its July 4 targets in the weeks to come. He said Tuesday that Biden’s goal for Independence Day was “ambitious,” and praised the progress the administration has made in recent months.
Zients also said the administration was now focusing on vaccinating young Americans, especially 18 to 26, against the virus.
“The reality is that many young Americans feel that Covid-19 is not something that affects them and that they are less anxious to get vaccinated. However, with the Delta variant now spreading across the country and infecting young people around the world, it’s more important than ever that they get vaccinated, ”Zients said.
Vaccine coverage among young adults has been lower and increasing more slowly over time than other age groups in the United States, and intention to get vaccinated is lower among young adults, studies show released Monday by the CDC.