NICHOLAS KAMM / Getty Images
President, Joe Biden, on Wednesday urged citizens to get vaccinated against covid-19, with new incentives such as the possibility of doing it in hairdressers or free daycare for those with children, given the worrying slowdown in the process in recent weeks.
The goal, set by Biden himself, is that the 70% of adults have received at least one dose for the holiday of July 4, Independence Day of the country.
“All over the world, people are desperate for an injection, which any American can get at their neighborhood pharmacy.”Biden said in a speech from the White House to report on progress in the immunization process.
The president indicated that if the July goal is achieved, citizens will be able to enjoy “a well-deserved summer of freedom, with meetings and celebrations (…) after the long and gloomy winter suffered” during the pandemic.
The first vaccine was administered in the United States on December 14, 2020.
BRAKING AT THE RATE OF VACCINATION
Despite the rapid start of the vaccination campaign, the daily rate has slowed down significantly, going from an average of 3.3 million doses administered per day in April to 1.2 million last week.
Therefore, the White House has redoubled efforts so that more people are inoculated, especially in the demographic segments that have been more suspicious, such as the youth, the African American and Hispanic minorities, and the rural population.
Currently, the 63% (more than 162 million) of U.S. adults have received at least one dose of the vaccines and 52% (133 million) are fully immunized, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reflecting a large disparity by regions.
While states like Massachusetts, Connecticut or New Jersey already have half of their population fully vaccinated, others like Alabama, Louisiana or Georgia have only fully immunized a third.
Biden insisted that vaccines are “effective and safe” and denied that immunization is a “partisan act.”
“I do not want to see a country, which is already too divided, divide again between places where people live free from fear and places where, when autumn comes, death and serious illness have returned”, Biden said, referring to the growing political polarization in the US.
Anyone over 12 years of age can opt for a free vaccine in the country.
FREE BEERS AND VACCINES IN HAIRDRESSERS
To face this slowdown, the White House launched this Wednesday the “National Month of Action”, in which local governments, national organizations, political leaders, personalities and “influencers” from different fields will be involved.
Among the announced measures are the extension of pharmacy hours, free childcare in daycare centers for adults to be vaccinated and even a tour of the vice president, Kamala Harris, under the slogan “We can get it”, to encourage vaccination.
It will also facilitate the administration of doses in barbershops and beauty salons frequented by the black population, and the company Anheuser-Busch, maker of Budweiser, has promised a free beer for everyone who gets vaccinated on July 4.
A week ago, the White House unveiled an alliance with the main dating applications, such as Tinder or OKCupid, to encourage young people to get vaccinated.
The United States is the country hardest hit by the pandemic in the world, with more than 595,000 deaths from covid-19, according to the independent count from Johns Hopkins University.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.