Biden outlines plan to get more Americans vaccinated
President Biden on Tuesday announced the White House's latest plan to get more Americans vaccinated as inoculation numbers slow across the U.S.
Why it matters: Biden said the highly transmissible Delta variant, first detected in India, is responsible for half of the coronavirus cases in the country, and is continuing to grow among the unvaccinated population.
State of play: The president summarized a new strategy to increase vaccinations this summer:
- Increase targeted, community-by-community, door-to-door outreach to ensure that every person can easily access the vaccine and has all the necessary information on the virus and inoculations.
- Plan a "renewed emphasis" on getting the vaccine to more primary care doctors and other health care professionals, so that people get inoculated at their own doctor's office.
- Continued efforts to get vaccines to pediatricians and other providers who serve young people, so that those between the ages of 12 to 18 can get vaccinated "as they go for 'back to school' checks ups or get ready for [physical exams] they need for fall sports," Biden said.
- Continued effort to ensure vaccines are available for working Americans, making sure that employers have shots available at work, and are able to give paid time-off for employees.
- Deploy mobile clinic units across the country "to help people at special events, summer festivals, sporting events, as well as places of worship and wherever we can find people gathered," Biden noted.
The president said the administration will mobilize "COVID-19 surge response teams," comprised of experts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other government agencies.
- They will work in states that are having issues preventing, detecting and responding to the spread of the Delta variant.
The big picture: Biden's remarks come two days after the Fourth of July, which he had initially set as a deadline to see 70% of the adult U.S. population vaccinated with at least one shot.
- Approximately 67% received at least one dose by the holiday.
What he's saying: "Please get vaccinated now. It works, it’s free, it’s never been easier, and it's never been more important," Biden said.
"Do it now for yourself and the people you care about, for your neighborhood, for your country. It sounds corny, but it’s a patriotic thing to do."
What to watch: Biden said by the end of the week, the U.S. will have hit the milestone of 160 million fully vaccinated Americans.