President Biden on Tuesday issued some new targets on the vaccine front: His new goal is 70% of the adult population having had at least one shot by July 4. The administration also wants to see 160 million Americans fully vaccinated by then. Despite the decline in vaccination pace, the goals are reachable, STAT News reports. At least 56% of those 18 and older have had at least one dose, federal data shows, meaning the nation would reach the 70% mark if another 36 million got their first dose in the next two months. And 105 million people are fully vaccinated, with another 40 million halfway there. A Biden aide said hitting both goals would require administering vaccines at about 75% of the current pace. The administration realizes that the people who are most enthusiastic about being vaccinated already have been, per NPR. The number of doses administered per day is running at nearly 2.3 million, after reaching nearly 3.4 million in mid-April.
In addition to stepping up the pro-vaccine PR campaign, Biden wants more walk-up vaccinations at sites including pharmacies and more mobile vaccination units. Local governments and rural health clinics will get money to expand vaccine outreach. They'll receive funding to hire community workers, particularly in rural areas, who will reach out to people who have not been vaccinated, especially people of color and those with disabilities. The administration is preparing for FDA approval to quickly vaccinate children ages 12 to 15. The federal government plans to enlist pediatricians, family doctors, and about 15,000 pharmacies in that effort. The administration is setting up July 4 as the pivot point in the pandemic, per CNBC. "We're going to look different as a country than we do today," an official said. (Read more coronavirus vaccine stories.)