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U.S. to miss July 4 COVID-19 vaccination target

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The White House on Monday announced it will not meet President Joe Biden’s goal of delivering at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine to 70 percent of American adults by July 4.

BIDEN ON FEBRUARY 6: "Let's go into the summer freer and safer."

During a Monday press briefing, White House COVID-19 senior adviser Jeffrey Zients said significant progress had been made in the U.S. vaccination effort, but a few additional weeks will be needed to hit the target for Americans over the age of 18.

ZIENTS: "We have met the president’s 70% goal for all U.S. adults 30 and over. And based on today’s estimates, we’re on track to hit the 70% target for those age 27 and over, once the data for the July 4 holiday weekend is fully in... We think it will take a few extra weeks to get 70% of all adults with at least one shot with the 18-26 year-olds factored in."

Zients said 16 states and Washington, D.C. have delivered at least one shot to 70% of adults 18 and older.

The Biden administration has been campaigning for more Americans to get their shots but roadblocks remain, like ongoing racial imbalances in vaccination rates, the new Delta virus variant and vaccine hesitancy, especially among young adults.

ZIENTS: "The reality is, many younger Americans have felt like COVID-19 is not something that impacts them and have been less eager to get the shot. However, with the Delta variant spreading across the country, and infecting younger people worldwide, it’s more important than ever that they get vaccinated.”

Top U.S. infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci: "We are not done until we completely crush this outbreak... The Delta variant is currently the greatest threat in the U.S. to our attempt to eliminate COVID-19. Good news: our vaccines are effective against the Delta variant."

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky added it’s important for Americans to get vaccinated NOW to stop the "chain of mutations that could lead to a more dangerous variant."

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