Biden says U.S. COVID-19 shots campaign enters 'new phase'

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In remarks on Tuesday, Biden set a new goal for his vaccination effort - to have 70% of the US adult population with at least one shot, and to have 160 million adults to be fully vaccinated by July 4. As of mid-April, the country was administering just under 3.4 million vaccine doses each day.

Biden is also aiming for 70% of the US adult population to have one vaccine shot by July 4, which now stands at 44.4%, per CDC estimates. 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. According to federal data, over 105 million Americans, or almost 32% of the population, are now fully vaccinated.

As part of the push to get more shots in arms, the White House told governors on Tuesday it will be tweaking the allocation system for vaccines. But states will now be able to choose whether they want all of their allocation, or contribute some doses to a federal pool.

Biden has regularly implored Americans to get a vaccine, avoid large crowds and continue Covid-19 mitigation efforts a bit longer to drive the caseload down in time for July 4 celebrations. That way, states that need more doses based on demand could draw from that pool, according to an administration official.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday outlined the next stage of the U.S.'s COVID-19 vaccination distribution plan - a plan that prioritizes walk-in appointments at local pharmacies and pop-up clinics to make vaccinations easier for those who have not yet gotten the shot.

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The president's new goal would result in roughly half of the entire USA population being vaccinated by early July.

While the administration's new goal focused on the adult population, administration officials also said they were prepared for the Food and Drug Administration's expected extension of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine's emergency use authorization for children between the ages of 12 and 15.

Biden plans to announce $250 million in funding for community organizations to answer questions about vaccines and help arrange appointments to get shots.

Biden's predecessor, former President Donald Trump, launched the national vaccination program but faced criticism for his slow response to the pandemic, spreading misinformation about the virus and his slow endorsement of the vaccine to his supporters - many of whom have delayed getting it because of concerns and conspiracy theories about its safety.

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