“We’re going to make it easier than ever to get vaccinated,” Biden said Tuesday in his remarks.
He added, “Two months from today … families across the country are going to celebrate the Fourth of July. Our goal, by July Fourth, is to have 70% of adult Americans with at least one shot and at least 160 Americans fully vaccinated.”
So far, about 145 million adults — about 56% of the adult population in the US — have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, according to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An average of about 882,000 adults have been added to that total each day over the past week.
An additional 35 million adults will need to receive at least one dose to reach the new 70% goal. If vaccinations continue at the current pace, 70% of adults will have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine by the second week of June.
But with July 4 as the goal, the current pace of newly vaccinated adults can slow to an average of about 570,000 added to the total each day over the next two months — about 65% of the current pace.
The pace of vaccinations has already been on the decline since reaching a peak about three weeks ago, CDC data shows.
‘We will be able to mobilize immediately’
White House chief of staff Ron Klain on Tuesday night called the President’s new vaccination target an ambitious but reachable goal.
“It’s an achievable goal. It’s a stretch goal but it’s an achievable goal,” Klain told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “AC360,” adding that “we vaccinated 57% of the adults in this country — we’re on the back half of this project, and so it’s going to go a little more slowly.”
To meet the new goal, Biden directed tens of thousands of pharmacies participating in the federal pharmacy program to offer walk-in appointments and redirect Federal Emergency Management Agency resources to support more pop-up clinics, smaller community vaccination sites and more mobile clinics, senior administration officials said.
The Biden administration will also ship new allocations of Covid-19 vaccines to rural health clinics across the nation and provide additional funding to help communities conduct outreach to help get more Americans vaccinated.
Extending the emergency authorization to people in this age group would open Covid-19 vaccine eligibility to an additional 5% of the US population.
“We will be able to mobilize immediately,” a senior administration official told reporters, should the emergency use authorization be granted. The official said about half of the federal pharmacy program will be ready to vaccinate this age group, and that vaccines will be ready to ship to pediatricians and family doctors.
The moves come as the Biden administration races to get shots in arms as variants spread throughout the country and threaten to derail the nation’s progress in the fight against the pandemic.
After spending months focused on ramping up supply and distribution of the vaccines, the White House is now working to combat vaccine hesitancy. Tuesday’s announcements are the latest efforts to build confidence in the safety and efficacy of the three Covid-19 vaccines that have been cleared for use in the United States.
Biden spoke on Tuesday about making access to vaccinations more convenient, supporting community vaccine education and local outreach efforts and reaching those in rural communities in the administration’s Covid-19 response.
“The pace of vaccinations is slowing now that the majority of American adults have gotten their first shot. But we’re…