Biden outlines ‘new phase’ of coronavirus vaccination campaign

President Biden on May 4 outlined three steps to vaccinate new groups of Americans against the coronavirus.

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: Our new phase will focus on three areas. First, kids. Children between the ages of 12 and 15 years of age. They're not yet eligible for a vaccine. The FDA scientists are currently reviewing the data to decide if and when to authorize that age range for vaccinations.

The FDA, and the FDA alone will make that decision. But today I want American parents to know that if that announcement comes, we are ready to move immediately. Immediately move to make about 20,000 pharmacy sites across the country ready to vaccinate those adolescents as soon as the FDA grants its OK. We're also going to slip vaccines directly to pediatricians, ship them to pediatricians during the following weeks. So parents and their children can talk to their family doctor about it.

The second area of focus is making it more convenient for everyone to get a vaccine. We know that many adults have not been vaccinated because they have found it too confusing or too difficult or too inconvenient to get a shot. So for those having trouble finding a location or making an appointment, we're going to make it easier than ever. We have formally launched a simple website where you can find the vaccination locations closest to you. That site is vaccines.gov. Let me say it again, vaccines.gov. Go there now, find a location to get the shot, and make an appointment.

Also today if you prefer texting, we have another easy way to get the shot. Text your zip code to the following number. 438829. Your zip code to that number, 438829. And you'll get text back the location that is nearest you with vaccines in stock right then and there.

Now I know some people find making an appointment in advance inconvenient. So starting this week we're also going to direct all Federal Pharmacy partners to begin to provide walk in hours. You'll soon be able to get vaccinated without an appointment at the vast majority of our 40,000 pharmacy locations across the country.

As we wind down the large mass vaccination sites, we'll move towards smaller locations, even more convenient to the unvaccinated. So for those who don't want to drive the distance to a large vaccination site, we'll have sites, smaller sites, closer to the unvaccinated.

We're also going to roll out new partnerships with the business community. We're working with major businesses like grocery stores to provide special deals like discounts to shoppers who come to the stores to get vaccinated. And it works both ways. Bring them in to get vaccinated, but when they're in, they will get discounts to purchase goods in that store. Further we're working with major sports leagues to launch special promotions for their fans. Things like ticket giveaways, in-stadium vaccination programs, discounts on merchandise, and other creative ways to make it easier and more fun to get vaccinated.

The third area of our focus is Americans who still aren't sure they want to get vaccinated. We've seen the confidence in vaccines rise steadily these past few months among virtually every segment of the population. And as more and more Americans see their friends and family get vaccinated, they're making the choice to get vaccinated themselves. Democrats and Republicans, progressives, conservatives, people of all persuasions are getting vaccinated. In fact, the fact is that nearly 85% of seniors have had at least one vaccination shot, and the wide cross section of the nation trusts the vaccine regardless of race or ideology.

Now we need to make the same progress for those under 65 years of age. There are a lot of younger people, especially those in their 20s and 30s, who believe they don't need it. Well, I want to be absolutely clear. You do need to get vaccinated. Getting vaccinated not only protects you, and also reduces the risk that you give the virus to somebody else.