Biden Administration Raising The Stakes To Get More People Vaccinated

CBS4's Debra Alfarone explains.

Video Transcript

- Now, to the coronavirus pandemic. And the number of US adults who are now vaccinated continues to slowly climb. But now the Biden administration is raising the stakes to get even more people to sign up for their shots.

- There could also be a new vaccine available to kids. And the search for the origins of the coronavirus intensifies. CBS4's Debra Alfarone has more details from Washington DC.

DEBRA ALFARONE: The US is hitting a milestone today with half of all American adults now fully vaccinated. To push that number higher, the Biden administration is allowing states to use federal funds to pay people to get the shot.

ANDY SLAVITT: This includes lottery programs for vaccinated individuals, cash or in kind transfers, or other monetary incentives for individuals to get vaccinated.

DEBRA ALFARONE: This comes as Moderna says its vaccine is safe for kids ages 12 to 17. The company plans to ask regulators to authorize the shot's emergency use in that age group. Moderna says out of more than 3,700 children in its clinical trial, there were no COVID-19 cases in those receiving its vaccine, compared to four cases in the placebo group.

The vaccine also showed kids produce similar antibodies as vaccinated adults, with the same side effects of sore arms, headache, and fatigue.

ANTHONY FAUCI: Hopefully we'll be able to get adolescent vaccine-- I mean, high school students vaccinated actually before they enter the fall term. Which is really very good news.

DEBRA ALFARONE: While governments race to get their citizens vaccinated, the search for the origins of the virus continues, with a new report linking it back to a lab in Wuhan, China. The "Wall Street Journal" says an intelligence report indicates three employees at this Wuhan lab studying viruses had to be hospitalized in November 2019, a month before the first reported of cases of COVID-19.

JEN PSAKI: A transparent, independent Phase 2 investigation. That's something we have strongly supported. That would require China finally stepping up and allowing access needed to determine the origins.

DEBRA ALFARONE: China's foreign ministry calls the reports totally untrue. Debra Alfarone, CBS News, Washington.

- The US has called on China to release all information related to its research activity at the Wuhan--