President Joe Biden speaks about Covid-19 response and vaccinations in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House in Washington, DC on June 2, 2021.
Almond Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
President Joe Biden on Wednesday redoubled his administration's efforts to get more Americans vaccinated against Covid-19 by July 4th.
In early May, Biden announced his government's new goals in the fight against the coronavirus: 70% of US adults should receive at least one dose of a Covid vaccine and 160 million adults should be fully vaccinated by Independence Day.
In a White House speech on Wednesday, Biden announced June as "national month of action" to get more Americans vaccinated by July 4th. He urged unvaccinated Americans to get the vaccinations, saying they are still at risk of getting seriously ill, dying, and spreading the disease to others, especially as the US nears the case.
"Getting a vaccine is not taking sides," Biden said, noting that the Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines were approved under former Republican President Donald Trump.
"I don't want the already divided country to be divided in new ways: between places where people live free from fear of Covid and places where deaths and serious illnesses return when it does," he said . "The vaccine is free, safe and effective."
The president outlined his administration's approach to its nationwide vaccine campaign, which he believed would mobilize national organizations, community and religious partners, celebrities, athletes and other influential groups.
In details released ahead of Biden's speech, the White House also said the government had asked pharmacies to extend their opening hours for the month of June and announced that it is working with childcare providers to help all parents who are vaccinated or not recover from illness, offer free services shots.
KinderCare and Learning Care Group, as well as more than 500 YMCAs, will provide the children's services, Biden said later on Wednesday.
According to an email from the White House, the government is also organizing efforts to call and text people in areas with low vaccination rates, and urge mayors to compete with each other to see which city can increase firing rates the fastest.
Other efforts by the administration include Shots at the Shop, an initiative that will bring black-owned hair and beauty salons across the country to support local vaccine awareness and outreach.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will also lead a tour – the National Vaccination Tour, "We Can Do This" – that will "highlight the ease of vaccination, promote vaccination, and stimulate and mobilize grassroots vaccination education and outreach" that will be at the White House.
On Wednesday, Biden also announced the White House's partnership with Uber and Lyft to offer free trips to vaccination sites through July 4th.
"America is heading for a summer that is dramatically different from last summer," he said. "Safely vaccinated people take off their masks and greet each other with a smile."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 162 million U.S. adults, or 62.8% of people aged 18 and over, had received at least one Covid vaccine as of Tuesday. More than 133 million US adults are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
In the United States, an average of 1.2 million Covid vaccinations were given daily in the past week. However, some data on the long holiday weekend are incomplete, so vaccination rates may be higher.
Public health experts say Biden's vaccination goal could pose a challenge to his government as the US has already vaccinated those who are most enthusiastic about a vaccine.
Kevin Hensley, in coordination with the Cook County Health Dept. and the Chicago White Sox gave the J&J COVID vaccine. Recipients received a $ 25 card in Chicago, Illinois on May 29, 2021 for discounts on concessions in front of Game One from a double header in the Guaranteed Rate Field.
David Banks | Getty Images
In order to give millions more vaccinations over the next four weeks, the White House has announced that the president will take additional steps to encourage and make it easier for more people to vaccinate.
In addition to the moves announced on Wednesday, the Biden administration has been working to make getting a vaccine “easier than ever,” with many vaccination sites in the US offering walk-ins.
The government launched a massive campaign in April to convince more Americans to take the vaccines. This is done using social media and virtual events where celebrities and athletes answer people's lingering questions about the vaccines.
The CDC has updated its public health guidelines to say that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a face mask or stay 6 feet away in most environments, whether outdoors or indoors. Many public health experts say the change was aimed at getting more people to vaccinate.