Biden Sets New Vaccination Goal

A 16-year old receives a dose of the Pfizer vaccine

Biden will also allocate $250 million to community-based organizations and $250 million to state and local governments in the hopes of distributing more vaccines. His administration is for the first time moving to shift doses from states with weaker demand to areas with stronger interest in the shots. It is also spending hundreds of millions of dollars to try to boost interest in vaccines through education campaigns and access to shots through community organisations that can help bring people to clinics. He called for 70% of adults to receive at least one dose by July 4, an increase of about 35 million shots over two months.

Biden's moves come as the seven-day average of shots has fallen to 2.3 million, from 3.4 million, in about three weeks, according to data compiled by the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker.

Going forward, the Biden administration will redistribute any doses that states don't claim, an administration official said.

The New York Times reported Monday that most scientists and public health experts believe that the US will not reach herd immunity, at least not in the near future.

While the administration's new goal focused on the adult population, administration officials also said they were prepared for the Food and Drug Administration's expected extension of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine's emergency use authorization for children between the ages of 12 and 15.

More than half of the US adult population has taken one dose of the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health experts also warn that the virus and its variants will not be entirely eradicated until much of the global population is vaccinated, a reason why Biden has been under increasing pressure to share unused vaccine doses with other countries like India, where COVID-19 cases are surging.

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Under the new policy, unordered doses would be made available to states with a more immediate need, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

President Biden predicted Monday that the United States would be in a "very different position" by the end of the summer when it comes to the number of Americans vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. Officials hope that extending vaccinations to teens - who would be eligible to get the first dose in one location and the second elsewhere - will further accelerate the nation's reduced virus caseload and allow schools to reopen with minimal disruptions this fall. The administration says that when states decline the vaccine they have been allocated, that surplus will shift to states still awaiting doses to meet demand.

Vaccines have been allocated state by state based on population - a formula the Biden administration held to even as some states such as MI saw increases in coronavirus infections.

Governors were informed of the change by the White House.

The Democrats told reporters that they were hopeful that Tai, a former House Democratic staffer, would announce new action on the waiver at WTO sessions this week.

Biden will announce that the administration is making almost $1.5 billion in funds from the coronavirus rescue package available for community organizations, rural health clinics, and state and local governments as part of the push to increase vaccination and testing rates in underserved areas.

The White House previously resisted efforts to shift vaccine by metrics other than population, with Biden rebuffing Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last month when she requested more doses as her state was experiencing a surge in virus cases.

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