Biden sets new COVID-19 vaccine goal, aims to have 70% U.S. adults inoculated by July 4

globalnews.ca
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Biden's administration for the first time also is moving to shift doses from states with weaker demand to areas with stronger interest in the shots.
U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday set a new COVID-19 vaccination goal to deliver at least one shot to 70 per cent of adult Americans by July Fourth as he tackles the vexing problem of winning over the "doubters" and those unmotivated to get inoculated.

Demand for vaccines has dropped off markedly nationwide, with some states leaving more than half their available doses unordered. Aiming to make it easier to get shots, Biden called for states to make vaccines available on a walk-in basis and he will direct many pharmacies to do likewise.

His administration for the first time also is moving to shift doses from states with weaker demand to areas with stronger interest in the shots.

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"You do need to get vaccinated," Biden said from the White House. "Even if your chance of getting seriously ill is low, why take the risk? It could save your life or the lives of somebody you love."

Biden's goal equates to delivering at least the first shot to 181 million adults and fully vaccinating 160 million. It's a tacit acknowledgment of the declining interest in shots.

Already more than 56 per cent of American adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and nearly 105 million are fully vaccinated. The U.S. is currently administering first doses at a rate of about 965,000 per day — half the rate of three weeks ago, but almost twice as fast as needed to meet Biden's target.

"I'd like to get it 100 per cent, but I think realistically we can get to that place between now and July Fourth," Biden said of his new goal.

He said the administration would focus on three areas as it tries to ramp up the pace of vaccinations:

Adults who need more convincing to take the vaccine.

Those who have struggled or are in no hurry to obtain a shot.

Adolescents aged 12-15, once federal authorities approve vaccination for that age group.

Acknowledging that "the pace of vaccination is slowing," Biden predicted the inoculation effort is "going…
ZEKE MILLER and JONATHAN LEMIRE
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