WASHINGTON – The federal government plans to change the way vaccines are distributed among the states by allowing some governors to reduce the doses they do not need or want, as President Joe Biden insists on receiving at least one dose of Covid. vaccine of 70 percent of adults by July 4.
Administration officials told governors on Tuesday that if a country did not want its full distribution, the vaccines would enter a pool and be redeployed to other states in need of additional doses, a senior administration official said. For weeks, some states, such as West Virginia, have reported unused doses as demand weakens, while others, such as Michigan, want more.
“This is really just an indication that we are in a different phase now, then we were even a few weeks ago in terms of access to supplies and we want to ensure that we release unused and unordered doses,”
The move comes as Biden also aims to have 160 million Americans vaccinated with both doses by Independence Day, a senior administration official said. Currently, 56 percent of adults have fired at least one shot and 105 million have been fully vaccinated, the official said. To reach this remaining group, Biden said the federal government would make the vaccine easier to access by encouraging companies to offer incentives for people to get the shot and stepping up a message campaign for those who care about safety.
“Now we’re going to have to bring the vaccine to people who are less impatient,” Biden said. “So we also know that there are millions of Americans who just need a little encouragement to make the shot.”
To achieve these goals, the United States plans to administer an additional 100 million doses over the next 60 days, which significantly slows the pace of vaccinations compared to the last 100 days.
Biden outlined several new steps the administration is taking to try to reach those who have not yet been vaccinated, including using $ 860 million from the Covid-19 relief bill passed in March to help fund health care. rural clinics and hospitals and $ 250 million to fund community organizations to help train and distribute vaccines.
Among the harder-to-reach groups targeted by the administration are rural communities with predominantly rural states, such as Mississippi, Utah and Alabama, which have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. To make it easier for Americans in rural communities to access the vaccine, the administration will send doses directly to thousands of health clinics in those areas.
The United States will also require all retail pharmacies that receive doses of vaccines from the federal government to offer non-appointment vaccinations, and encourage states to do the same on their websites. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will increasingly send mobile vaccination units and create small, temporary vaccination sites to reach hard-to-reach groups.
“I think at the end of the day, most people will be convinced that failing to get the vaccine could cause other people to get sick and eventually die,” Biden said.
If the Food and Drug Administration allows the Pfizer vaccine to be used in 12- to 15-year-olds, a decision that can be expected in the coming days, the federal government plans to immediately send doses to pediatricians and family physicians and make them available to 20,000 seats for this age group.
A senior administration official said the 70 percent estimate did not necessarily mean that the United States had reached herd immunity, as public health officials did not know the exact level at which this would be achieved. But this will allow additional restrictions to be removed and life to return to normal.
“The more you vaccinate people, the more you can lift some of the public health restrictions,” said a senior administration official. If the United States is able to achieve the 70 percent goal, “we can do what we all want, namely continue and gradually lift the restrictions so that we can return to our normal lives.”