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The United States will probably miss President Joe Biden’s goal of getting at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose into the arms of 70% of adults by July 4, the White House said Tuesday.
As of Tuesday, the country has reached its 70% vaccination goal for Americans aged 30 and older, White House COVID-19 response team coordinator Jeff Zients said during a press conference. By July 4, the milestone will be achieved for adults aged 27 and older, he added.
However, Zients mentioned that there has been greater vaccine hesitancy among adults aged 18 to 26, and that it could take “a few extra weeks” after the July 4 date for all adults to receive at least one shot.
“The reality is that many younger Americans have felt like COVID-19 is not something that impacts them, and they have been less eager to get the shot,” he said. “However with the Delta variant spreading across the country and infecting younger people world wide, it’s more important than ever that they get vaccinated. We’re working with state and local leaders to reach them.”
Biden initially set the goal on May 4 to have 70% of adults partially vaccinated by the Fourth of July. According to the New York Times tracker, about 65% of adults across the country have received at least one vaccine dose. More than 15 states have already surpassed Biden’s goal, yet plenty are still making progress toward it.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that the White House will continue its partnership with state and local governments to ensure every American adult has access to the shot, but ultimately it’s “up to individuals to make the decision to get vaccinated.”
When asked by reporters about Biden missing his target, Psaki stressed that the White House doesn’t “see it exactly like something went wrong.” Rather, Biden set a “bold, ambitious goal” that is expected to be met weeks after July 4, she said.