President Joe Biden on Tuesday continued to urge Americans to get their COVID-19 shots, with the remarks coming after his administration fell short of his goal of having 70% of U.S. adults partially vaccinated by the Fourth of July.
He talked about the importance of every eligible American becoming vaccinated as COVID’s delta variant spreads, noting it’s “more easily transmissible” and “potentially more dangerous.”
“It seems to me this should cause everybody to think twice, and it should cause reconsideration especially in young people who may have thought that they didn’t have to be vaccinated — didn’t have to worry about it,” Biden said in a short speech in Washington.
“Study after study after study has shown that since early May, virtually every COVID-19 hospitalization and death in the United States has been among the unvaccinated,” he also said.
Biden highlighted five areas that the administration’s vaccination program is focusing on: targeted outreach to communities, expanded efforts with mobile clinics, expanded efforts at workplaces, a renewed emphasis on getting vaccines to more primary care doctors and stepped-up pushes to get vaccines to pediatricians so children age 12 and up can get vaccinated as they go for back-to-school checkups or prepare for fall sports.
“In addition to these initiatives to continue to vaccinate the unvaccinated, we’re stepping up our preparations to respond to the outbreaks we’re going to see among the unvaccinated. For that, we’re mobilizing what I’m calling ‘COVID-19 Surge Response Teams,’” the president said.
The percentage of U.S. adults who have received at least one vaccine dose stands at 67.1%, according to the latest data from a tracker run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Biden’s speech comes as Israel says the shot developed by BioNTech SE
and Pfizer Inc.
is now thought to be 64% effective at preventing infections from COVID’s delta variant, down from an efficacy rate of about 95% in clinical trials.
On Sunday, the president mixed the country’s Independence Day party with a celebration of freedom from the worst of the pandemic, as he described getting vaccinated as “the most patriotic thing you can do.”
On Wednesday, Biden is slated to visit Crystal Lake, Ill., to promote his American Families Plan, a proposal aimed at domestic priorities like education and child care that would be paid for by extra taxes on the wealthy.