The White House said that the U.S. will fall short of Joe Biden’s goal of having 70% of adults with at least one Covid-19 shot by July 4, as officials expressed difficulty in getting younger people vaccinated.
Still, at a briefing on Tuesday, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator Jeffrey Zients characterized their efforts as a success, exceeding even their expectations of how normal the upcoming Independence Day celebrations will be.
“Instead of just small backyard gatherings, America is getting ready for a truly historic Fourth of July, with large celebrations planned in communities across the country,” Zients said, adding that the White House is planning an event with about 1,000 attendees.
Biden had set the 70% goal back in March, and although the administration has reached vaccination milestones earlier that expected, Zients said that it will probably take a few more weeks to reach the goal of all adults with one shot. He projected that by the end of the July 4 weekend, 70% of those 27 and older will have reached that point. He announced that 70% of those 30 and older have at least one shot.
“The reality is many younger Americans have felt like Covid-19 is not something that impacts them, and they’ve been less eager to get the shot,” Zients said. “However, with the delta variant now spreading across the country, and infecting younger people worldwide, it’s more important than ever that they get vaccinated.”
The White House is continuing its campaigns to urge people to get the vaccinations. First Lady Jill Biden is traveling to southern states to promote vaccinations, including plans to visit a pop up vaccination clinic with singer Brad Paisley.
Anthony Fauci, a White House adviser and director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also cautioned that the 70% number is “not the goal line, nor is that the end game. The end game is to go well beyond that, beyond July 4 into the summer and beyond, with the ultimate goal of crushing the outbreak completely in the United States.”