As demand wanes, Biden administration pushes to get more Americans vaccinated
Just over 105 million Americans are fully vaccinated as of early May. But interest in the COVID-19 vaccine is sharply declining. Iowa, for example, this week turned down nearly three-quarters of the vaccine doses available to the state because people are not getting vaccinated.
"Now we're going to bring the vaccinations to people who are less eager," President Joe Biden said on Tuesday.
His administration is now working with grocery store chains to offer discounts to customers who come to the store to get a vaccine. The administration is also coordinating with sports leagues to offer special promotions to fans.
"Like ticket giveaways, in-stadium vaccination programs, discounts on merchandise," Biden said.
Biden's new goal: 70% in U.S. with at least 1 dose by July 4
Starting next week, the administration is moving away from mass vaccination sites to smaller locations that are easier for people to get to and shipping more vaccines to rural areas. The push is to get the country closer to normal by July 4.
"Our goal by July 4th is to have 70% of adult Americans with at least one shot and 160 million Americans fully vaccinated," Biden said. "That means giving close to 100 million shots, some first shots, some second shots over the next 60 days."
Another concern is children between the ages of 12 and 15 who are not currently eligible for the shots. The FDA is expected to authorize the Pfizer vaccine for that age group next week.
"I want American parents to know that if that announcement comes, we are ready to move immediately," Biden said, "to make about 20,000 pharmacy sites across the country ready to vaccinate those adolescents as soon as the FDA grants its OK."
The president appealed to Americans who are still reluctant.
"It could save your life or the lives of people you love," Biden said.