June 22, 2021 -- The U.S. will narrowly miss President Joe Biden’s goal of having 70% of the country’s adults at least partially vaccinated by July 4 -- a result of lagging vaccination rates among 18- to 26-year-olds, White House officials said Tuesday.
“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,” White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said at a news conference. “With the delta variant now spreading across the country and infecting younger people worldwide, it is more important than ever that they take this important step.”
According to the White House COVID-19 Response Team, the U.S. is on track to reach the 70% goal a few weeks after the holiday. About 65% of adults have received at least one shot, and at current rates, it is predicted 67% will be in the same boat by July 4.
So far, 16 states and the District of Columbia have already reached 70% vaccination rates. By July 4, adults 27 and older will hit that goal.
“We set 70% of adults as our aspirational target, and we have met or exceeded it for most of the adult population,” Zients said. “The country has more work to do, particularly with 18-to 26-year-olds.”
About 87% of adults 65 and older -- those who were driving many of the infection rates throughout the pandemic -- have reached at least partial vaccination.
People ages 30 and older have already hit the 70% mark, Zients said.
Top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, MD, stressed the importance of getting fully vaccinated, particularly given how easily the delta variant can spread.
“The end game is to go well beyond July 4 into the summer and beyond, with the ultimate goal of crushing the outbreak completely in the United States,” he said. “One of the main obstacles for that obviously is under-vaccinated individuals and under-vaccinated regions of the country, particularly for the young.”