The United States is facing an uphill battle to meet President Biden’s goal of vaccinating 70% of adults with at least one dose by July 4, according to a CNN analysis. But the administration continues to push ahead with new programs and initiatives, and key players remain hopeful that the goal will be met.
Currently, 63% of adults in the US have received one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, and an average of about 371,000 adults were added to that total each day last week, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But closer to 564,000 adults would need to initiate vaccination each day to reach Biden’s goal by July 4 – a rate that the US has only consistently fallen behind in the past week or so. The holiday weekend might have delayed some data reporting, but daily vaccinations had dipped below the required pace a few times before this week.
Another 18 million adults will need to receive at least one dose to reach 70%. At the current pace of vaccination, the US would hit about 68% of adults on July 4 – falling short by about 6 million adults. The full 70% would be reached about two weeks later.
Even so, 12 states have already met Biden’s goal: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Eight others are on track to reach 70% of adults by July 4: Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Virginia and Washington, as well as Washington, DC. But three states – Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi – might not even vaccinate half of their adult residents with at least one dose by July 4 at their current pace.
On Wednesday, Biden announced a “National Month of Action” with various initiatives aimed at boosting vaccination rates in key communities, including free child care, extended hours at pharmacies and local outreach.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky and Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy have all recently voiced their confidence in the ability to reach the July 4 goal.
“I think we absolutely can still hit that goal,” Vivek told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Wednesday, touting the administration’s new action plan and calling on Americans to talk to their family and friends.
“Now, because we’ve had so much success early on, we are now getting to the part of the campaign which is tougher. We’ve got to look further, if you will, convince more people, get them the right information, increase access even further,” Fauci said.
Overall, about 169 million people in the US have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, and nearly 137 million people are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data. The CDC includes territories, such as Guam and the US Virgin Islands, in its national population calculations.