Biden makes shots for young adults as concern for variants grows


In this photo from the June 18, 2021 file, President Joe Biden talks about COVID-19 vaccines at the White House state dining hall in Washington. The administration released new data on Friday showing that it expects to reach 70% of Americans aged 27 and over with at least one shot before the July 4 holiday. Credit: AP Photo / Evan Vucci

The U.S. government is stepping up efforts to vaccinate younger Americans against COVID-19 as concerns about the spread of a new variant that threatens to return to the country in the coming months grow.

The push is underway as the delta variant, first identified in India, has come to account for more than 20% of coronavirus infections in the U.S. in the past two weeks, Control Centers reported Tuesday. and Disease Prevention. It’s double what it was when the CDC last reported the prevalence of the variant.

“The delta variant is currently the biggest threat in the U.S. to our attempt to eliminate COVID-19,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said at a White House briefing on virus. “Good news: our vaccines are effective against the delta variant.”

He added: “We have the tools. So we use them and crush the bud.”

The White House acknowledged Tuesday that President Joe Biden will not achieve his goal of vaccinating 70% of all American adults with at least one shot on Independence Day. But he was said to have reached that threshold for those over 30 and hopes to meet it for those over 27 before the July 4 holiday.

Biden is also on track to lose a second goal: to fully vaccinate 165 million American adults on July 4, Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 coordinator, projected that it will take several more weeks to reach that number. On Monday, the U.S. crossed the 150 million fully vaccinated.

“We don’t see it exactly as if something has gone wrong,” press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.

However, they said they redoubled their focus on vaccinating young Americans between the ages of 18 and 26, who have proven less likely to receive a vaccine when it is available to them.

The national rate of new vaccinations has plummeted over the past month, even as disputes have become more available, with fewer than 300,000 Americans now receiving their first daily dose on average, a rate that, if remains, will keep the United States from reaching The 70% Biden target by the end of July at least.

Officials are also more so. concerned about regional variations in the .

More than 16 states and the District of Columbia have vaccinated 70% of their adult population. But others, especially in the south and midwest, fall substantially behind, with four not yet reaching 50% of vaccination rates.

The White House said achieving Biden’s vaccination goals is less important than the country’s pace of reopening, which surpasses even its own internal projections, as the vast majority of the nation’s most vulnerable people are completely vaccinated and cases and deaths are the lowest since the early days of the pandemic, with an average of about 11,000 new infections and fewer than 300 deaths a day. More states open, and Michigan becomes the last Tuesday to end the mask’s mandate and virus restrictions. The state had its worst outbreak in the nation this spring.

“We have achieved beyond our highest expectations,” Zeints said.

According to CDC data, Americans at higher risk for COVID-19 complications are overwhelmingly vaccinated, but only 53% of 25- to 39-year-olds have received a dose. Between the ages of 18-24, it is 47%.

“Where the country has the most work to do is mostly with young people aged 18 to 26,” Zients said.

Scientists and government experts said the increase in the delta variant should motivate young Americans to get vaccinated.

“The reality is that many younger Americans have felt that COVID-19 doesn’t affect them, and they’ve been less eager to get the shot,” Zients said. “However, with the delta variant spreading across the country and infecting younger people around the world, it is more important than ever that they be vaccinated.”

The variant is taking root as there are warning signs of a possible increase in cases in unvaccinated corners of America. Missouri’s rural sections, including Springfield and Branson, have seen a dramatic increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations in recent weeks that health officials attribute in part to the delta variant that extends among younger, unvaccinated residents.

“There is a danger, a real danger that, if a recalcitrance persists for vaccination, localized rises can be seen,” Fauci said.

Mississippi, Louisiana, Wyoming, Alabama and Idaho are below 40% of their population with at least one dose of vaccine.

The White House planned to focus on increasingly local vaccination pushes, with First Lady Jill Biden traveling to Mississippi and Tennessee on Tuesday to promote vaccinations and Biden himself set out to visit North Carolina on Thursday.

The variant accounts for half of all new infections in regions that include Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

The United States misses the July 4 target of a Covid shot for 70% of adults: W.House

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