The White House Covid response team made a declaration on Tuesday that they remain unsuccessful in achieving President Biden’s vaccination goal by July 4. Earlier this year, Biden had set a goal for 70% of the adult population to be administered with at least one shot of the vaccine by the symbolic event day.
To renew the “all-America sprint,” Biden had called for a “month of action” earlier this month to reach the goal set by him. On Tuesday however, White House Covid-19 coordinator Jeff Zients accepted that the current speed of vaccinations will not boost America up to the target set at hand.
Although Zients accepted defeat, he tried to highlight a few vaccination milestones that were not their targets before. 70% of adults aged 30 and older have already had their first shot and by the American day of Independence, the country will have vaccinated adults aged 27 and older with one shot.
These achievements are a testament to the extraordinary progress achieved by the country in its fight with Covid-19. However, they don’t meet the previously specified vaccination goal and are mostly concentrated on the younger age group.
At a White House Covid response briefing, Zients accepted that they will still extend efforts in getting more people vaccinated each day. When asked why their goal was missed, White House secretary Jen Psaki said the country has met the goal partially, but expressed concern about over-vaccinating communities of color and conservative groups as they are resistant to the entire process as a whole.
She further added that they don’t “see it like something went wrong,” but instead take pride in working towards the new goal.
In early June, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who serves as the chief medical adviser of the White House, had expressed great optimism about achieving Biden’s vaccination goal. But as of Tuesday, 65.4% of adults over the age of 18 had taken at least one shot. Although this number won’t be achieved by Sunday, the vaccination goal put forward by Biden will be completed in an extra few weeks.
According to Zients, the hesitancy on part of young Americans comes from their belief of the virus being insignificant to their health. Hence, it will take a “few extra weeks” to reach the target of 70% for 18–26-year-olds. At the current rate of vaccination, the U.S will fall short by 7.1 million shots to achieve the July 4 vaccination goal.
Additionally, the reluctance among the younger generation to receive the vaccine is a challenge that the Biden administration will face even after Independence Day celebrations are over. As far as the symbolic day celebrations are concerned, 1000 first responders and military officials are set to gather on the South Lawn to view the traditional fireworks of the auspicious occasion.