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First lady Jill Biden, Kimberly Williams-Paisley and singer-songwriter Brad Paisley tour a Pop-Up Vaccination site at Ole Smoky Distillery on June 22 in Nashville. Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images

The Biden administration is sending their A-list officials — and actual celebrities — across the country, devising ads for niche markets and enlisting community organizers in a major vaccine push, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: President Biden had previously set a goal of vaccinating 70% of U.S. adults with at least one dose by July 4. However, the White House has recently acknowledged that it is likely to miss that goal.

  • Though 70% of Americans 30 and above have received at least one shot, the vaccination rates have slowed since April — with significant gaps in the South and Midwest and unvaccinated young people causing projections to be off-target.
  • In at least four states, fewer than 50% of the population is vaccinated.

The state of play: The administration's renewed efforts are directed toward a group of nearly 55 million unvaccinated adults seen as persuadable and referred to by health officials as "the movable middle."

  • Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra told AP: "We’re not just going to do the mass vaccination sites."
    • “It’s door to door. It’s mobile clinics," he said, adding: "We’re doing vaccinations at church, the PTA meeting, the barber shop, the grocery store."
  • Celebrities and athletes alike have been recruited as part of the vaccine push, with the White House lending top names as well, per AP. Though it's unclear whether the campaign is working yet.

Go deeper

NYC COVID vaccine mandate takes effect for school employees

Marisa Wiezel and Caitlin Kenny, co-teachers at Yung Wing School P.S. 124 in New York City, give a lesson to their masked students on Sept. 27. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

New York City's vaccine mandate for school staff members went into effect on Monday, covering nearly 148,000 employees, AP reports.

Why it matters: The vaccine mandate makes New York City — the nation's largest school system — one of the first school districts in the country to require staffers to receive the COVID-19 shot, per AP.

D.C. Council member mum on vaccination status

Council member Trayon White. Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

D.C. Council members are debating a vaccine mandate for themselves and their staffers, and one lawmaker is mum on whether he received a shot.

  • The new proposed mandate would require all council employees to receive a vaccine by the end of the month or face unpaid leave and potential termination.
  • The policy says council members who don't get vaccinated would be subject to "appropriate discipline."
  • The rule allows for medical or religious exemptions but would still mandate regular COVID-19 tests.

Yes, but: Ward 8 council member Trayon White has pushed back against any proposed reprimands for the unvaccinated, Axios' Cuneyt Dil reports.

Updated 18 mins ago - Science

Nor'easter slams East Coast with flooding rain and powerful winds

A residential area in Middlesex County as floodwater from the nor'easter covers streets in New Jersey on Tuesday. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A monster storm was slamming the Northeast with record rainfall and powerful winds over Tuesday night — causing flash flooding that resulted in people having to be rescued in New Jersey and New York roads to close.

Threat level: All of southern New England westward to New York City and northern New Jersey was under the threat of flash flooding and coastal flooding from the nor'easter through Tuesday night into early Wednesday, per the National Weather Service.