U.S. to reallocate COVID shots to states with greater interest
May 05 2021
President Joe Biden set a new vaccination goal to deliver at least one dose to 70 per cent of adult Americans by July 4, focusing on easing access to shots as his administration tackles the vexing problem of winning over those reluctant to get inoculated against Covid-19. As of Tuesday, the rate had dropped to just under 2.3 million. About 30.5% of the population, or about 101,407,318 people, have been fully vaccinated as of last week.
Biden acknowledged there is debate about what percentage of the USA population needs to be vaccinated in order to reach herd immunity, or the point when enough people are vaccinated to make the spread of the virus unlikely.
The expected release of the strategy comes after the White House said Tuesday that it has completed a sweeping assessment of the threat posed by domestic violent extremism, an issue that took on new urgency after the January 6 assault on the Capitol by supporters of Trump who were trying to overturn President Joe Biden's election victory.
Biden also announced he is directing tens of thousands of pharmacies in the federal pharmacy program to offer walk-in appointments and redirecting government resources to support more pop-up and mobile clinics and smaller community vaccination sites. During a press briefing, a senior Biden aide said the administration estimated that reaching each goal would require administering about another 100 million doses to adults in the next two months, roughly three-quarters of the current pace.
USA officials are gearing up to administer vaccines to adolescents once that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
"So, my hope is that if the vaccine is authorized, parents will take advantage of it and get their kids vaccinated", the president said.
As part of the new phase, the Biden administration will also tell states they will begin changing how COVID-19 vaccine shots are allocated, in response to some states showing a lower demand.
Biden plans to announce $250 million in funding for community organizations to answer questions about vaccines and help arrange appointments to get shots. "They can also order less than their full allocation and ... the doses that are not being given to that state will then go into kind of an overarching supply that could then be distributed to other states by population".
These disparities are already evident.
Arkansas officials declined their entire weekly share last week, according to the Washington Post.
This week, Iowa turned down almost three quarters of the vaccine doses available to the state for next week from the federal government because demand for the shots remains weak.
Those states would have the shots available whenever demand for vaccines in their states increases - a key priority of the Biden administration. "This is your choice: It's life and death".
A COVID-19 mass-vaccination clinic at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on January 15.
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.
"I'll have more to say about that soon", he said.
There are "going to be far less public health restrictions".
USTR has made no recommendation yet on the rights waiver, Psaki told reporters.