The most important news
President Joe Biden plans to vaccinate 70% of American adults by July 4 and to roll out the vaccines to children ages 12 to 15 as soon as possible.
Mr Biden’s new goal is to have 160 million adults fully immunized by Independence Day.
The goal is well within reach given that 105 million people have already received Covid-19 injections and the United States immunizes nearly one million adults per day.
But the vaccination rate is half of what it was just three weeks ago.
Mr Biden said his administration was trying to convince “skeptics” about the shootings.
Israel – a world leader in vaccination rates – has almost completely reopened its economy and has seen its number of new coronavirus cases plummet to almost zero, with just over 60% of the population having received at least one vaccine.
Mr Biden told the White House on Monday: “In two months, let’s celebrate independence as a nation and our independence from this virus. We can do it. We will.”
The Democratic president also announced a new website, vaccines.gov, which Americans can use to more easily find vaccination sites after widespread complaints that the registration process was too difficult for some.
There is also a phone number that Americans can now text to submit their zip code and inquire about vaccination sites in their area.
Mr Biden had previously set the goal of “returning to normal” for life by July 4.
What’s the plan for the kids?
The US Food and Drug Administration is considering whether to approve the Pfizer vaccine for children as young as 12 years old.
Pfizer’s vaccine is currently approved in the United States for people as young as 16 years old.
Mr Biden said he would not interfere with the FDA process but “if this announcement comes, we are ready to act immediately.”
The president told reporters: “We will also deliver the vaccines directly to pediatricians, ship them to pediatricians, over the next few weeks, so that parents and their children can talk to their family doctor and get vaccinated by the doctor. supplier they trust. most. Easy, fast and free. “
He added that 15,000 pharmacies would also be made available to teenagers to get their shots.
“And if the teens are on the move this summer, they can get their first shot in one place and get their second shot elsewhere,” he added.
If approved, the vaccine will be immediately available to some 17 million adolescents aged 12 to 15.
The president’s chief medical adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci, said children will likely need to be vaccinated for life to return to normal.
With 75% of American seniors now fully vaccinated, infection rates have increased in unvaccinated children, a study suggests.
According to research released Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics, children in states that count Covid cases by age now account for about 22.4% of all new infections. This is a significant increase from 3% of daily new cases at this point last year, according to the study.
Mr Biden also said he was speaking to US companies to announce reductions on purchases for vaccinated Americans.
“We are working with big sports leagues to launch special promotions for their fans. Things like tickets, stadium vaccinations, merchandise discounts and other creative ways to make it easier and more fun to do so. vaccinate, ”he said.
Several American companies have already offered rewards for the vaccinated.
When will the United States achieve collective immunity?
It is not known what the herd immunity threshold is, which means that a sufficient proportion of the population is protected against an infection for it to stop spreading.
Dr Fauci started off by saying the number was around 70% before gradually increasing it to 90%.
He admitted in a New York Times interview in December that he moved the targets in response to a public poll on Americans’ willingness to get vaccinated. Dr Fauci said last month that the goal of collective immunity was “elusive”.
World Health Organization chief scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan said: “The proportion of the population that needs to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to start inducing herd immunity is not known.”