President Joseph Biden remarked in a speech on his administration’s response to COVID-19 vaccination rates and planning in the United States.
President Biden stated:
Today, the Vice President and I would like to lay out our plan for June, to counter — continue, I should say, our successful fight against the pandemic as we approach the July 4th date.
In just four months, thanks to the American people, we have made incredible progress getting people vaccinated quickly, efficiently, and equitably. Nearly 170 million Americans of every party, every background, every walk of life have stepped up, rolled up their sleeves and gotten the shot.
52% of adults are now fully vaccinated, including 75% of all seniors. Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have achieved 50% of adults being fully vaccinated in their jurisdictions.
Since January 20, the average daily cases are down from 184,000 to 19,000, below 20,000 for the first time since March of 2020. Average hospitalizations are down from 117,000 to 21,000. Death rates are down over 85%. We worked with cities and states to create over 80,000 vaccination sites.
We deployed over 9,000 federal staff, including 5,100 active-duty troops to help get shots in arms. Now, as a result, we have built a world-class vaccination program.
On May 4, I asked Americans to come together to get 70% of adults with one shot by July 4th — 70% at least with one shot. To date, 12 states have already reached this important milestone. We expect more to make this milestone this week. Nationally, we are at 63% of adults with one shot. And we are getting closer, but we still have work to do. With 73% of Americans over the age of 40 with one shot, and as — we especially need people under 40 to step up.
We’re announcing a month-long effort to pull all the stops — all the stops to free ourselves from this virus and get to 70% of adult Americans vaccinated. This effort has five key parts.
First, we’re making it easier than ever to get vaccinated. Ninety percent of you live within five miles of a vaccination site. The vaccinations are free, and most places allow walk-up vaccinations. No appointment needed. Y
ou can go to Vaccines.gov or text your ZIP Code to 438829 to get a text back with the places you can get a shot that are close by.
And now, we’re going to make it even easier. In response to our call to action, businesses and organizations across the country have stepped up to help everyone get vaccinated.
Starting next week, many vaccination sites will be offering extended hours during the month of June, including pharmacies that will be open 24 hours every Friday night — for 24 hours they’ll be open — this month.
For parents who haven’t been able to get the shot because they didn’t have the childcare: Starting now, KinderCare, Learning Care Group, the Bright Horizons, alongside with hundreds of YMCA locations, are going to offer free drop-in childcare while the parents are getting vaccinated.
In addition, Uber and Lyft are both offering free rides to and from vaccination sites — vaccination centers.
Second, we’re going to reduce [redouble] our outreach and public education efforts. We’re going to relaunch them, in effect. We’re going to launch a national vaccination tour to encourage people to take the shot. The Vice President is going to lead that tour across the South and the Midwest, where we still had millions of people to vaccinate.
In the spirit of meeting people where they are, we’ll also be working with the Black Coalition Against COVID and other organizations to launch a new initiative called “Shots at the Shop.” Barbershops, beauty shops are hubs of activity and information in Black and brown communities in particular, but in many communities across the nation. Local barbers, stylists, they become key advocates for vaccinations in their communities, offering information to customers, booking appointments for them, even using their own businesses as vaccination sites.
We’ll also kick things off this weekend with a National Canvassing Weekend, where thousands of volunteers will be out knocking on doors and encourage their communities to get vaccinated.
And mayors — mayors will be stepping up even more over the next month and partnering with us on the City Vaccination Challenge to see which city can grow its vaccination rate the fastest — the most — by July 4th.
Third, we’ll be increasing our work with employers. A lot of working people are holding back because they’re concerned about losing pay if they take time off to get a shot, or if they don’t feel well the next day. I’ve said before: For small- and medium-sized employers, if you give people paid time off to get a shot, you’ll get a tax credit to cover that cost.
Already, millions of workers across the country are eligible for paid time off and incentives from their employers. And we’re making it easy for employers to set up on-the-job vaccination clinics to make it even more convenient for their employees to get a shot.
Fourth, we’re going to continue encouraging people to get vaccinated with incentives and fun rewards. The state of Ohio had a heck of a fun reward — a new millionaire last week — thanks to the creative idea of the governor for holding a vaccination — a vaccine lottery.
The grocery store, Kroger, announced that they’re going to give away $1 million each week to someone who gets vaccinated at one of their pharmacies.
The NBA, the NHL, NASCAR — NASCAR tracks — they’re offering vaccine- — vaccines outside playoff games and at races. Major League Baseball will be offering free tickets to people who get vaccinated at the ballpark.
And to top it off, Anheuser-Busch announced that beer is on them on July the 4th.
Fifth, and finally, we’re asking the American people to help. We need you to get your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers vaccinated. Help them find an appointment. Drive them to the site. Talk to them about why you made the choice for yourself.
Go to WeCanDoThis.HHS.gov to sign up to volunteer and learn more about how you can help.