WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President Joe Biden has announced new vaccine goals for the United States and the government says regulations will be relaxed as more Americans get vaccinated.
To date, 44% of Americans — or nearly 150 million people — have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Biden said Tuesday he wants 70% of Americans to have received at least one dose by July 4.
“It’s life and death and I hope everyone knows within themselves and makes the choices that is going to help them and their loved ones be safe, get our businesses open again,” the president said.
Officials stress while young people are less likely to become severely ill, they can still spread the disease and risk prolonging COVID restrictions.
The president’s announcement about the new goal comes as demand for the vaccine slows. Biden said his administration is trying to make obtaining the vaccine as easy as possible for Americans.
“You’ll soon be able to get vaccinated without an appointment at the vast majority of our 40,000 pharmacy locations across the country,” he said.
Biden said preparations are underway should the Food and Drug Administration lower the age of eligibility for the Pfizer vaccine from 16 to 12 “to make about 20,000 pharmacy sites across the country ready to vaccinate those adolescents as soon as the FDA grants its OK.”