US President Joe Biden urges Americans to get vaccinated as Delta variant takes hold

New York: US President Joe Biden has asked young Americans to “think twice” urging them to get vaccinated as the rise of the more transmissible Covid-19 Delta variant now accounts for 50 per cent of virus cases in many parts of the country. He said the United States is predicted to reach the mark of 160 million fully vaccinated Americans by the end of this week. 

In a statement on Tuesday, the White House said, “By the end of this week, we`ll have reached the mark of 160 million fully vaccinated Americans. And that`s a goal I set in March that I`m thrilled we`re going to hit just a few days after July the Fourth. So, we will have 160 million fully vaccinated Americans — up from roughly 3 million when we took office five months ago.”

Earlier, the Biden administration has fallen short of the July 4 COVID vaccination goal to have 70 percent of Americans at least partially vaccinated. Just over 67 percent of American adults have had at least one Covid-19 vaccine and more than 157 million Americans are fully vaccinated as of Tuesday morning, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Reiterating his plea for Americans to get vaccinated, Biden said, “Millions of Americans are still unvaccinated and unprotected. And because of that, their communities are at risk. Their friends are at risk. The people they care about are at risk. This is an even bigger concern because of the Delta variant.” 

He further said, “Study after study after study has shown that, since early May, virtually every COVID-19 hospitalization and death in the United States has been among the unvaccinated,” adding “Now we need to go to the community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and oftentimes, door to door — literally knocking on doors — to get help to the remaining people protected from the virus.” 

“My administration is doing everything it can to lead a whole-of-government response at the federal, state, and local levels to defeat the pandemic. But we need everyone to do their part. Millions of Americans have already done that. We have to keep it up though. We have to keep it up until we`re finished,” Biden said, adding “The best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family and the people you care about the most is get vaccinated. The best thing a community can do to protect themselves is to increase vaccination rates.” 

“So, as we shift from these centralized mass — mass vaccination sites, where we were doing thousands of people a day, we’re going to put even more emphasis on getting vaccinated in your community, close to home, conveniently at a location you’re already familiar with.” 

The US President’s statement elaborated the steps being taken as:
First — first thing we’re going to do: This includes 42,000 local pharmacies where folks with questions can talk to the pharmacist they know and already have done — dealt with.  These locations overwhelmingly allow you to walk in without an appointment, get the vaccination when you’re picking up your prescription or just going in to get toothpaste or something else you need from a drug store.  

Second, my team is going to place renewed emphasis on getting the vaccines to more and more family doctors and healthcare providers so more Americans can get this shot at their doctor’s office from the folks that they know and they trust the most.

Third thing we’re going to do: We’re going to step up efforts to get vaccines to your family doctors and other doctors who serve younger people so that adolescents ages 12 to 18 can get vaccinated and — as they go for back-to-school check-ups or getting ready for their physicals they need for fall sports.

Fourth, we’re also intensifying our efforts to meet people where they are, outside of their neighborhoods — pharmacies and doctor’s offices.  This includes continuing to work with employers to make vaccination shots available at work — on the worksite, if possible — or — and/or give their employees paid time off to get vaccinated at a nearby facility.

And fifth and finally, we’re sending out more mobile clinic — more mobile clinic units out there to help people at special events, summer festivals, sporting events, as well as places of worship, wherever we can find people gathered.

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