Latest coronavirus: vaccination slowdown jeopardizes Biden’s July 4 target

The pace of daily inoculations in the United States has slowed to levels that, one month before the July 4 deadline, put Joe Biden’s vaccination goal in jeopardy for American adults.

The latest figures from the leading US public health agency showed that nearly 163 million Americans over the age of 18 had received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by 6 a.m. on June 3. This, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, equates to 63 percent of the adult resident population, or about 258m.

The president wants 70% of residents aged 18 and over to have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by July 4. Reaching its goal would require an additional 18 million adults to receive their first dose within the next month – a rate of about 602,000 first-dose injections per day until Independence Day.

That required rate will change after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updates their numbers this afternoon, but likely not enough for Biden’s goal to be achievable within the next 30 days.

According to the CDC, the seven-day average of the first daily doses, which includes both adults and teens, was 519,913 for the week ended May 29, the most recent date for which figures are available.

The seven-day average of total doses administered (including second injections) in the United States fell to nearly 1.05 million per day for the week ended May 29. Rates rose the week after the CDC on May 14 eased mask guidelines for fully immunized people, but have been declining globally since peaking at 3.3 million per day in mid-April .

Biden’s missing vaccination target may not be a full blame for the U.S. deployment, especially given the size of the population. The percentage of its total population that received one or more doses, 50.9%, ranks 13th in the world, according to the The FT vaccine tracker, while its proportion of fully vaccinated residents, at 41.2 percent, ranks sixth.

In a bid to boost turnout through weeks of July 4, the White House this week teamed up with Anheuser-Busch on an offer whereby the brewer would give everyone over 21 a free beer (or similar) if the country has met Biden’s target.

Several states, representing a wide range of advances in vaccine deployment, have already started vaccine lotteries, promising grand prizes of $ 1 million, college scholarships and even guns for vaccinated residents.

As of Thursday, 12 states administered at least one dose to 70% of their adult population.

Although vaccination rates have been declining since mid-April, recent low numbers can be explained by the May 31 public holiday. Throughout the pandemic, data released after weekends or holidays is often lower due to reporting delays or facility closures.


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Nancy Owens

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