Administration addresses new strategy for getting more Americans vaccinated by July 4

May 5, 2021

President Joseph Biden in a press briefing May 4, launched a new strategy for vaccinating Americans against COVID-19. 

“Almost 150 million Americans have gotten at least one shot. Over 105 million Americans are fully vaccinated. And among our most vulnerable population — seniors — we are nearing 85% of those who have gotten their first shot. Seventy percent of the seniors are now fully vaccinated.  It’s a dramatic turnaround from where we were in January, when less than 2% of adults and less than one percent of seniors were fully vaccinated.” 

He stated that cases are down in 40 states these past two weeks. Deaths are down dramatically since January — down over 80% among seniors, which includes a drop among Hispanics of 80% and among African Americans of 70% of seniors. 

In fact, in the last 10 days, one out of every 10 adult Americans got a shot. But, soon, we’ll have reached the adults who are most eager to get vaccinated, and, at that point, this effort will shift to a new phase. Our new phase will focus on three areas. First, kids, children between the ages of 12 and 15 years of age. They are not yet eligible for a vaccine. The FDA’s scientists are currently reviewing the data to decide if — if and when to authorize that age range for vaccinations. The FDA — and the FDA alone — will make that decision. I want American parents to know that if that announcement comes, we are ready to move immediately –immediately move to make about 20,000 pharmacy sites across the country ready to vaccinate those adolescents as soon as the FDA grants it’s okay.   

The second area of focus is making it more convenient for everyone to get a vaccine. We know that many adults have not been vaccinated because they have found it too confusing or too difficult or too inconvenient to get a shot. So for those having trouble finding a location or making an appointment, we’re going to make it easier than ever. We have formally launched a simple website where you can find a vaccination location closest to you. That site is: Go there now, find a location to get the shot, and make an appointment.

Also, if you prefer texting, we have another easy way to get the shot. Text your — your ZIP code to the following number: 438829. Your ZIP code to that number: 438829.  And you will get a text back with the location that is nearest to you with vaccines in stock right then and there.

Starting this week, we are also going to direct all federal pharmacy partners to begin to provide walk-in hours. You’ll soon be able to get vaccinated without an appointment at the vast majority of our 40,000 pharmacy locations across the country. We also are encouraging our state and local partners to have a walk-in ability as well to the sites that they run.

And beginning next week, we’ll be shipping new allocations of vaccine to rural health clinics, getting more vaccines to more rural clinics so Americans who don’t live near one of the 75,000 vaccination sites will have new options that may be closer — may be closer than anything they thought. 

Also, as we wind down the large mass vaccination sites, we will move towards smaller locations even more convenient to the unvaccinated. So, for those who don’t want to drive the distance to a large vaccination site, we will have sites — smaller sites — closer to the unvaccinated. 

We’re also going to roll out new partnerships with the business community. We’re working with major businesses, like grocery stores, to provide special deals like discounts to shoppers who come to their stores to get vaccinated. Bring them in to get vaccinated, but when they’re in, they will get discounts to purchase goods in that store.

Further, we’re working with major sports leagues to launch special promotions for their fans — things like ticket giveaways, in-stadium vaccination programs, discounts on merchandise, and other creative ways to make it easier and more fun to get vaccinated. 

The third area of our focus is Americans who still aren’t sure they want to get vaccinated. We’ve seen the confidence in vaccines rise steadily these past few months among virtually every segment of the population.

As we turn to this new phase, we’re also setting a new goal. Our goal by July 4th is to have 70% of adult Americans with at least one shot and 160 million Americans fully vaccinated. That means giving close to 100 million shots — some first shots, others second shots — over the next 60 days. And let’s try to hit that 70% mark at least with one shot before that day. It’s another huge goal. 

The White House has the speech.

More COVID-19 coverage HERE.