The Biden administration announced on Tuesday that the nation has partially vaccinated 70 percent of Americans ages 30 and older, putting a rosy spin on falling short of Biden’s original, more ambitious July 4 vaccination goal.
“We have built an unparalleled, first-of-its-kind vaccination program,” Jeffrey Zients, the head of the White House COVID-19 response team, said in a press conference. “This is a remarkable achievement.” The health official then announced a new goal, saying that the administration is poised to vaccinate 70 percent of Americans 27 and older by July 4.
For months, Biden laid out a goal of getting at least one jab to 70 percent of adults by July 4 in order to tame the pandemic. According to Zients, it will take a “few extra weeks” beyond Independence Day to get all Americans 18 and older to the 70 percent threshold. To that end, the government will now focus its efforts on convincing younger Americans, those ages 18 to 26, to get vaccinated. “The reality is many younger Americans felt like COVID-19 is not something that impacts them, and they’ve been less eager to get the shot,” he said.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 65 percent of adults have received at least one shot, while nearly 53 percent — approximately 150 million people — were fully vaccinated as of June 21. If the current pace of vaccinations continues, “the country will come in just shy of Mr. Biden’s target, with about 67 percent of adults partly vaccinated by July 4,” the New York Times reports.
“We want every American in every community to be free from fear of the virus,” Zients said on Tuesday. “We’re not stopping at 70 percent, and we’re not stopping on July 4.”
The Biden administration had previously met its vaccination goals with ease. After his election, Biden said he hoped to deliver 100 million doses in his first 100 days in office; his administration hit that target 58 days into his term. Biden then doubled that goal to 200 million doses in his first 100 days in office, a milestone he reached with about a week to spare.