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The White House will refocus its coronavirus vaccination efforts Tuesday on young adults between the ages of 18 and 26 as the White House signals that the country is poised to fall short of meeting President Joe Biden's July 4 goal of getting at least one vaccine shot into the arms of 70% of U.S. adults.
A White House official downplayed the importance of July 4 as a hard deadline, noting to the Washington Examiner that "it's not like we would have stopped telling people to get vaccinated on July 5" and that even the president himself previously admitted that it would have taken a monumental effort nationwide to meet the goal.
According to NBC News, COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients will echo that sentiment during his opening remarks at Tuesday's coronavirus press briefing.
“We have built an unparalleled, first-of-its-kind, nationwide vaccination program. And as a result, we have successfully executed the most complex, logistical task in history — administering 300 million shots in 150 days,” Zients will reportedly say.
As of Tuesday, 70% of people in the United States over 30 have received at least one vaccine dose. White House officials stressed that with just under a week to go until July, and taking into account the weekend lag in data gathering, it's possible that adults over the age of 27 might also break the 70% mark by July 4 but conceded that it could be several weeks before the vaccination rates among young adults reach the same level.
The White House's plan for convincing young adults to get vaccinated will involve messaging around the coronavirus Delta variant, a more transmissible variant with origins in India that is believed to become the dominant strain within the U.S. shortly.
Biden himself took up that line during his remarks celebrating America's administration of 300 million vaccine doses this past Friday but added that he thinks it's "unlikely" that the emergence of the Delta variant could lead to nationwide lockdowns like in 2020.
"I don't think so because a lot of people have still been vaccinated, but the Delta variant can kill people where people have not gotten vaccinated," he said in response to a question from the press pool following his remarks. "The variant is unlikely to result into anything. The existing vaccines are very effective. No, it's not a lockdown, but some areas will be very, very hurt."
It's worth noting that the White House previously sparred with people espousing notions that young adults didn't need to get vaccinated.
White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield, in particular, shot down such a claim made by podcaster Joe Rogan back in April.
"If you're like 21 years old and you say to me, 'Should I get vaccinated?,' I'll go, 'No,'" Rogan said at the time. "If you're a healthy person and you're exercising all the time and you're young and you're eating well, I don't think you need to worry about this."
Psaki then responded at a White House press briefing by questioning Rogan's medical qualifications.
"I guess my first question would be, did Joe Rogan become a medical doctor while we weren't looking?" Bedingfield later told CNN. "I'm not sure that taking scientific and medical advice from Joe Rogan is perhaps the most productive way for people to get their information."
Rogan would eventually walk back his comments.
"I'm not a doctor, I'm a f****** moron, and I'm a cage fighting commentator," he said. "I'm not a respected source of information, even for me, but I at least try to be honest about what I'm saying."
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Original Author: Christian Datoc