President Joe Biden will again urge all eligible Americans to get Covid vaccinations on Tuesday, stressing the importance of being protected against the highly transmissible Delta variant, a White House official said.
Two days after that did not reach his Covid vaccination target for July 4th, Biden will detail how his government is now training its focus on increasing the availability of vaccinations in places like doctor’s offices and work environments, the official said.
Biden will also note that his team is stepping up efforts to provide vaccines to pediatricians and other child health care providers with the aim of vaccinating more teens ages 12-18 before they go back to school this fall, the official said. The officer declined to be named prior to Biden’s announcement.
The team is also aiming to expand efforts to include mobile clinics and will work to refine door-to-door efforts to provide vaccine information to Americans who have not yet received their vaccination.
Biden’s 2:45 p.m. ET White House speech will highlight that nearly 160 million people in the US will be fully vaccinated by the end of this week, according to NBC.
There are currently 157 million people in the US fully vaccinated, which is less than half the total population. according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For people in the United States aged 18 and over, the percentage of CDC for those fully vaccinated rises to 58.2% and is 78.7% for those 65 and over who are most at risk from Covid.
Biden set a goal in May of vaccinating 70% of American adults with at least one vaccine by Independence Day. On the holiday itself, about 67% of US adults had received at least one dose, according to the CDC.
As vaccination rates slow significantly, Biden will emphasize that the Delta variant is growing in those who have not received Covid vaccinations, the White House official said.
The Delta variant, observed for the first time in India, has now spread to at least 96 countries, including the USA, according to the World Health Organization.
The variant, which the WHO says is about 55% more transmissible than another strain of the virus found in the UK, has thwarted some countries’ plans to lift social distancing restrictions. About 25% of all newly reported Covid cases in the US are the Delta variant, which predicts that it will become the dominant variant, according to the CDC.
White House senior medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci last month named Delta the “greatest threat” to the nation’s fight against the pandemic.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, told CNBC last week that while the Delta variant may lead to an increase in cases, he does not expect the massive increase in infections to the extent that it has seen earlier times Case was in the pandemic.
“I don’t think there’s going to be a raging epidemic across the country like we saw last winter. I think that there will be niches for spreading and that the overall prevalence will increase, ”said Gottlieb “Squawk Box.”
The White House is deploying Covid-19 response teams across the country focused on fighting the variant. The teams, made up of officials from the CDC and other federal agencies, will work with communities at higher risk for outbreaks.
There are still about 1,000 counties in the US with vaccination rates less than 30%, said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters last week.
The counties are mainly in the southeast and midwest, and the agency is already seeing rising disease rates in these locations due to the further spread of the delta variant, she said.
– CNBC’s Ylan Mui contributed to this report.
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC employee and a member of the board of directors of Pfizer, genetic testing startup Tempus, health technology company Aetion Inc., and biotechnology company Illumina. He is also co-chair of the Healthy Sail Panel of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean.