President Biden Sets New Vaccination Goal

CBS4's Skyler Henry reports President Biden wants 70% of Americans to have at least one shot by July 4th.

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: Our goal by July 4 is to have 70% of adult Americans have at least one shot, and 160 million Americans fully vaccinated.

ELIOTT RODRIGUEZ: Tonight, President Biden sets a new goal in the race to vaccinate Americans. It's a goal he hopes to reach by the 4th of July. The announcement comes as new COVID-19 cases and deaths in the US are down.

But vaccine hesitancy is up, as we've seen in South Florida. That's causing supply to outpace demand in much of the country and leading to the closure of some mass vaccination sites. CBS 4's Skyler Henry is live in Washington with the Biden administration's new push to reach herd immunity. Skyler?

SKYLER HENRY: Hey, Eliott, good evening to you. Well, as the president ups his goals to try to get millions more Americans vaccinated by the 4th of July, the administration is also focusing on trying to get more vaccine out to areas that don't readily have them available. And as you mentioned, he's also trying to convince those who are skeptical of getting the shot.

A federal health official tells CBS News the FDA plans to authorize the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 as early as next week.

JOE BIDEN: 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 it's OK.

SKYLER HENRY: Pfizer says clinical trials showed the vaccine was 100% effective in children that age, and is well tolerated.

REGINALD WASHINGTON: The antibody response is actually higher than the antibody response we've observed in adults-- young adults. And also, there were no positive cases in the study group with the data that I've been able to obtain.

SKYLER HENRY: Pfizer and Moderna are now running clinical trials for kids six months old and older. At least 25 states have ordered less than their full allotment of vaccine doses because of lower demand for the shots. The White House told governors it will ramp up efforts to get more people vaccinated ahead of the 4th of July.

JOE BIDEN: Our goal by July 4th is to have 70% of adult Americans have at least one shot, and 160 million Americans fully vaccinated.

SKYLER HENRY: But the number of new coronavirus cases is dropping as well, prompting more states to lift all COVID restrictions.

RON DESANTIS: I think folks that are saying that they need to be policing people at this point, if you're saying that, you really are saying you don't believe in the vaccines.

SKYLER HENRY: But health officials are still urging caution as the variants of the virus are now spreading among unvaccinated young adults.

Now, globally, the president is also concerned about the deadly outbreaks happening in certain countries. He said earlier today that he is also focused on getting more doses of both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines both produced and exported to those who may be suffering. Guys?