President Joe Biden declared on Tuesday a new target of getting at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose to 70% of Americans and 160 million people completely vaccinated by July 4.
In remarks at the White House, Biden promised to make vaccinations more available by directing tens of thousands of pharmacies to provide walk-in appointments and redirecting FEMA services to fund pop-up facilities, mass vaccination centres, and mobile clinics.
“Now that the majority of American adults have had their first vaccine, the rate of vaccines is slowing. However, we continue to vaccinate millions of Americans every day “He said.
According to the White House, 105 million Americans have been completely vaccinated, with 56 percent receiving at least one dose.
Biden has reported more than $250 million in funds for community-based programmes to help expand access to COVID-19 vaccines in pandemic-affected countries, as well as $130 million to enhance vaccination education, $250 million to finance vaccine prevention initiatives in counties, districts, and several major cities, and $860 million to promote research at rural health centres and hospitals.
“We’re going to make it easier than ever to get vaccinated,” said Biden.
The administration also announced it will send vaccines directly to rural health clinics, including areas with a limited number of other vaccination sites.
“We are always evaluating, how do we get more supply out to the American people and more shots in arms,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday. “Just a few weeks ago, we were in a different phase of our vaccinations where our supplies were more restrained. For the most part, states were ordering at or near their full allocations.
“We want to ensure that we free up unused and unordered doses.”
Pfizer revealed earlier Tuesday that it would seek full regulatory clearance from the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the month.
Full approval will allow the company to sell its coronavirus vaccine directly to US customers.
Pfizer now intends to seek FDA clearance for the vaccine’s use in teenagers aged 12 to 15. The acceptance is due within days as states prepare to begin vaccinating children in preparation for the summer and their return to school in the fall.
More than 40% of adults are currently completely vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In his speech to Congress last week, Biden stated that 90 percent of Americans now live within 5 miles of a vaccine centre.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that completely vaccinated Americans do not need to wear masks outside while they are walking, hiking, biking, or attending small gatherings.
On Tuesday, Biden reported that those who have been completely vaccinated are gradually returning to their daily lives, while those that have not been vaccinated face the risk of dying from the virus.
“This is your choice: It’s life and death and I hope everyone knows within themselves and makes the choice that’s going to help them and their loved ones be safe,” he said.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the outbreak has killed almost 580,000 people in the United States to date.