Washington: The United States will reach on Tuesday its target of fully vaccinating 50 percent of America’s adult population against the coronavirus and will aim to hit the next milestone of 70 percent before its Independence Day anniversary on the 4th of July, White House COVID-19 coordinator Andy Slavitt said Tuesday.
“Today, the US will have 50 percent of adult Americans that are fully vaccinated,” Slavitt told a media briefing. “This is a major milestone in our country’s vaccination efforts. The number was one percent when we entered office, January 20th.”
President Joe Biden had announced on his first day of office that he intended to have 100 million vaccines administered within his first 100 days. That target was met in just 58 days and the administration has to date delivered nearly 288 million doses into the arms of Americans for COVID-19.
The United States has three approved vaccines for COVID-19 — the two-shot Pfizer and Moderna, and the one-shot Johnson & Johnson.
Most of the 50 US States are moving towards fully liberate their economies from COVID-related restrictions, including masking and social distancing as infection rates and deaths fall dramatically from highs seen at the start of the year.
Slavitt hailed the pace of the US recovery from the pandemic but warned against complacency, saying those who have yet to be vaccinated or resisted immunization for whatever reason were still vulnerable to the original strain of the virus or the multiple variants and mutants circulating around the world.
He urged all Americans to heed Biden’s call of being fully vaccinated before the 4th of July in order to enjoy the backyard barbecuing and socializing which was a tradition for the Independence Day holiday. The administration hopes to have at least 70 percent of the population vaccinated by then.
“You might be seeing all the positive news around, you see cases down, deaths down, friends safely shedding their masks, businesses reopening and you think you’re in the clear,” Slavitt said. “Unless you’re vaccinated, you are at risk. When the virus looks for a place to spread and it doesn’t spread to a vaccinated person. It will look for you.”
He said there were more than 20,000 locations across the country where one could just walk in without an appointment to get vaccinated.