Washington — Top U.S. health officials acknowledged Tuesday that the U.S. is expected to take longer than July 4 to meet President Biden’s goal of 70% of American adults receiving at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. But White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients announced that the U.S. has vaccinated at least 70% of U.S. adults ages 30 and older.
The U.S. is also on track for 70% of adults 27 and older to have received at least one shot by July 4, Zients said during Tuesday’s COVID-19 response team briefing. More than 175 million Americans have received at least one shot, and more than 150 million Americans are fully vaccinated. And 87% of seniors have received at least one shot.
“We think it’ll take a few extra weeks to get to 70% of all adults with at least one shot, with the 18-26-year-olds factored in,” Zients said.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said July 4 and 70% were never the final goals.
“As Jeff has said, our aspirational goal for July 4th was 70% of the adult population receiving at least one dose. But that is not the goal line, nor is it the end game. The end game is to go well beyond that, beyond July 4, into the summer and beyond, with the ultimate goal of crushing the outbreak completely in the United States,” Fauci said during Tuesday’s briefing.
While 16 states and the District of Columbia have reached the president’s goal of vaccinating 70% of their adult populations or more, many states, particularly some in the South, are lagging far behind that goal. That means 34 states have not met the target of 70% of adults vaccinated.
So far, 65.4% of U.S. adults have had at least one shot, according to data from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, and more than 150 million Americans are fully vaccinated. Zients said Tuesday the U.S. has more work to do to encourage 18- to 26-year-olds to get vaccinated.
“As I have said, we are not stopping at 70%, and we’re not stopping on July 4,” Zients said.