WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — President Joe Biden delivered remarks on the U.S. vaccination program just days after the country failed to meet his goal to have 70% of American adults at least partially vaccinated by July 4.
“America is coming back. America is coming back together,” Biden said. “The fight against this virus is not over. Millions of Americans are still unvaccinated. This is an even bigger concern because of the delta variant. It’s more easily transmissible and possibly more dangerous.”
Biden said by the end of this week 160 million Americans will be vaccinated.
“If you’re vaccinated, you’re protected. Communities are at risk. Please get vaccinated now,” Biden said Tuesday.
Last month, the White House launched a month-long blitz to combat vaccine hesitancy and a lack of urgency to get shots, particularly in the South and Midwest. States implemented incentives like million-dollar prizes, free beer and countless other giveaways around the country in an attempt to significantly move the needle on vaccine hesitancy. Despite the efforts, vaccination rates continued to dip.
The administration insisted that if the goal wasn’t reached, it would have little effect on the overall U.S. recovery, which is already ahead of where Biden said it would be months ago.
Biden said the country will move from mass vaccination sites to community vaccination efforts by leveraging 42,000 local pharmacies and enlisting family physicians to administer shots and educate Americans about the vaccine.
In remarks made Sunday, Biden highlighted the overall success of the vaccination campaign he championed, with the crisis shifting from a national emergency to a localized crisis of individual responsibility.
“This year, the Fourth of July is a day of special celebration, for we’re emerging from the darkness of a year of pandemic and isolation, a year of pain fear and heartbreaking loss,” the president said before fireworks lit up the sky over the National Mall.
What concerns the administration now is the emergence of two disparate realities in the U.S.: the gap between heavily vaccinated communities where the virus is dying out and lesser-vaccinated ones where the new delta variant is already taking hold.
About 150.3 million people, or 58.2 % of U.S. adults, have been fully inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer Inc/ BioNTech SE, Moderna Inc. and Johnson & Johnson, according to CDC data, with 173.2 million people, or 67.1% million adult Americans, having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
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