Biden unveils target of 70% of Americans vaccinated by 4 July – what then for the remaining 30%?

The Biden administration has announced a new goal of vaccinating 70 per cent of US adults with at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and for 160 million adults to be fully vaccinated by 4 July.

This new vaccination goal, which was released by the White House ahead of President Joe Biden’s address on Tuesday afternoon, gives the federal government two months to reach those milestones.

“People who are not fully vaccinated can still die every day from Covid-19,” Mr Biden said when announcing the new goal. “This is your choice … it’s life and death.”

In recent weeks, Mr Biden has used 4 July as a date where Americans might see a turning point in the coronavirus pandemic after more than one year of lockdown measures and health guidelines.

Mr Biden acknowledged that the federal government would now have to target those who are more hesitant about receiving a Covid-19 vaccine in order to reach the administration’s latest vaccination goal. His administration in the next couple of months would now target three distinct population groups: children ages 12 to 15, adults who have been unable to access a vaccine, and adults who are still hesitant about receiving a vaccine.

To target those three groups, Mr Biden has directed tens of thousands of pharmacies involved in the federal pharmacy program to offer walk-in appointments to make vaccines more accessible to all Americans.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was also directed to mobilise more pop-up clinics and mobile vaccination units that would be able to target people living in more rural areas who are unable to reach a vaccine.

Currently none of the available vaccines was approved for people 15 years and younger, but the federal government anticipated that Pfizer could receive emergency use authorisation from the FDA to vaccinate those ages 12 to 15.

“If that announcement comes, we are ready to move immediately,” Mr Biden said of the potential authorisation.

About $1.9tn in funding would also be all allocated to hospitals in rural locations so they could target communities who were less likely to have access to a vaccine, the White House announced.

As of Monday morning, more than 145 million US adults, or 56.3 per cent, have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and 104 million, or 40.6 per cent, of adults were fully vaccinated against the novel virus, according to data released by the CDC. So the Biden administration still needed to reach millions of residents to reach the new goal.

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