It's Not Looking Good for Biden's July 4 Vaccine Goal

US not likely to hit it with vaccination rates falling
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2021 3:05 AM CDT
US Seems Unlikely to Hit Biden's July 4 Vaccine Goal
In this May 18, 2021, file photo, Cathy Fuller, a nurse at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, vaccinates a patient at a mass COVID-19 immunization site in Hoover, Ala.   (AP Photo/Jay Reeves, File)

President Biden wanted 70% of US adults at least partially vaccinated by Independence Day. But with July 4 rapidly approaching and vaccination rates slowing down, that goal is in danger, the Washington Post reports. During the April peak, an average of 3.4 million shots were being given per day; that number is now fewer than a million. Last week, just 2.4 million adults got their first shots—and officials would need to get first shots into the arms of 4.2 million adults per week to meet the holiday goal. Per CNN, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Friday that if the pace doesn't pick up, the US could face "another surge—particularly with variants floating around—that could set us back to the time when we had to shut down things." The network's analysis figures that if the current pace of vaccinations continues, the country would hit 70% by mid- to late July.

While the South and the Midwest have seen their rates decline the most (in Alabama, just four people for every 10,000 residents got vaccinated last week), every state in the US has fallen at least two-thirds from its peak. That said, the 70% threshold for adults has already been reached in 13 states (mostly East and West Coast) and is likely to soon be reached in another 15, plus the District of Columbia. As states ramp up the incentives for people to get vaccinated, the Biden administration is harnessing thousands of organizations and volunteers to tout the vaccine, answer questions about it from the hesitant, and bring vaccines into places likely to reach those who have no plans to visit a clinic—think music festivals and markets. As of Friday, just over 63% of US adults had received at least one shot. (More coronavirus vaccine stories.)

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