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President Joe Biden has announced new strategies for the national COVID-19 vaccination program as demand for vaccines decreases. A new target was also set to get shots in people’s arms.
“Our goal for the fourth quarter of July is to have 70% of American adults with at least one shot and 160 million Americans completely vaccinated,” he said Tuesday. “That means giving about 100 million shots (some first shots, others second shots) over the next 60 days. Of course, Americans can still get shots after the fourth of July, but no one should wait.”
Biden said that during the first 100 days of his administration 220 million people were vaccinated, easily breaking the goal of vaccinating 100 million people in that time period.
The CDC claims that 44.5% of the total U.S. population (nearly 148 million) has received at least one dose and that 32% (106 million) are completely vaccinated.
But the demand for vaccinations is declining rapidly. The CDC states that as of April 29, the average number of vaccines at 7 days was 2.6 million a day, 10.7% less than the previous week.
Since most people who want to get a first shot have been able to get it, the national strategy needs to change, Biden said. He outlined three changes in strategy:
A concentration in children from 12 to 15 years. This age group is not allowed to receive the vaccine right now, but Biden said the FDA is reviewing data from clinical trials in children. The government is prepared to send vaccines directly to pediatricians to speed up vaccinations of these children, he said.
The FDA is expected to grant this authorization for the Pfizer vaccine next week.
Pfizer and Moderna are developing vaccines for teens. Health experts say vaccinating children is crucial to controlling the pandemic.
Make vaccines more comfortable. A new website (vaccines.gov) and a new text messaging system will help Americans find the nearest vaccination site, Biden said. All federal “pharmaceutical partners” will begin getting vaccinated without an appointment. Large vaccination sites will be stopped and vaccines will be sent to more rural areas. Grocery chains and sports venues will be encouraged to offer discounts to vaccinated people.
Overcoming hesitant hesitation. Biden encouraged people who were unsure of prey to realize that getting vaccinated can protect the people they love, not just themselves. He encouraged them to talk to their doctor, pharmacist, faith leader, or someone they know who was vaccinated.
“Look at the people in your community who have been vaccinated and are living their lives again, their full lives. Look at the grandparents united with their grandchildren, the friends who come together. This is your choice. It’s life and death, “he said.
The Associated Press reported that the administration also informed governors on Tuesday that vaccines will no longer be distributed based strictly on the population.
With falling demand, some states are not getting all the vaccines they have been assigned. Any excess vaccine will be moved to an open pool in any state that needs dosing, the AP said.
The White House: “President Biden’s remarks on COVID-19’s response and vaccination program.”
CDC: “COVID-19 Vaccines in the United States,” “COVID Data Tracking.”
The Associated Press: “Biden aims to vaccinate 70% of American adults by July 4.”