On Tuesday, President Joe Biden discussed what the White House plans to do to get more Americans vaccinated as rates continue to slow in the U.S.
During afternoon remarks on the nation’s response to COVID-19, Biden outlined initiatives to get the unvaccinated vaccinated, including a shift in focus on local pharmacies.
“As we shift from these centralized mass vaccination sites, where we’re doing thousands of people a day, we’re going to put even more emphasis on getting vaccinated in your community close to home, conveniently, and at locations that you’re already familiar with,” said Biden.
He said his administration will put more emphasis on getting vaccines to family doctors, they’ll step up the distribution of vaccines to doctors that serve young people, and they’ll intensify efforts to work with employers to get their workers vaccinated.
Biden also provided an update on how many Americans have been vaccinated as of Tuesday, and how many are expected to be vaccinated by the end of the week.
“More than 182 million Americans have received at least one shot, including nearly 90% of seniors and 70% of adults over the age of 27. By the end of this week, we’ll have reached the mark of 160 million fully vaccinated Americans,” said Biden.
On Sunday, Biden hosted hundreds of guests — many of them military members or first responders — at the White House for a Fourth of July cookout. During remarks at that event, Biden touted the successes of his vaccine distribution program while noting that challenges remain.
"Today, while the virus hasn't been vanquished, we know this: It no longer controls our lives," Biden said. "It no longer paralyzes our nation. And it's within our power to make sure it never does again."
Nearly half of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, and the CDC has deemed it safe for those vaccinated to drop masking and social distancing restrictions. However, there are pockets of the country where cases of the virus are on the rise.
The White House failed to reach its goal to have 70% of American adults partially vaccinated against the virus by July 4. As of Monday, just 67% of adults have gotten at least one shot.
Concerns also remain regarding the delta variant strain of COVID-19, which is rapidly spreading across the world. While top health officials like Dr. Rochelle Walensky and Dr. Anthony Facui say that those who have been vaccinated are safe against the delta variant, the more contagious strain is a concern for those who have not gotten a shot.