President Joe Biden has offered free beers, child care among other incentives as a plan to get 70% of Americans at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot before the July 4th holiday, during a speech Wednesday afternoon.
“Today we’re announcing a month-long effort to pull out all the stops to free ourselves from this virus,” the president said. “It’s going to take everyone: the federal government, the state governments and local, tribal, and territorial governments, the private sector and, most importantly, the American people to get to this 70% mark so we can declare independence from COVID-19.”
“Nearly 170 million (17 crore) Americans of every party, every background, every walk of life have stepped up, rolled up their sleeves, and gotten the shot,” he said on Wednesday.
He said 52 per cent of adults were now fully vaccinated, including 75 per cent of all seniors. Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have achieved 50 per cent of adults being fully vaccinated in their jurisdictions.
Biden said his administration will continue encouraging people to get vaccinated with incentives and fun rewards.
The Biden administration has also said that it is teaming up with several organisations — the Black Coalition Against COVID, the University of Maryland Center for Health Equity and the SheaMoisture company — to launch an initiative called “Shots at the Shop” to engage Black-owned barber-shops and beauty salons nationwide in efforts to promote vaccine education and outreach on a local level.
The White House said throughout the month of June, each participating shop will help share information about vaccines with customers, display educational materials, and some will even host on-site vaccination events in partnership with local providers.
“The more people we get vaccinated, the more success we’re going to have in our fight against this virus,” Biden said.
Since January 20, the average daily cases in the US are down from 184,000 to 19,000, below 20,000 for the first time since March of 2020. Average hospitalizations also are down from 117,000 to 21,000. Death rates are down over 85 percent, he pointed out.
“I promised you we’d marshal a wartime effort to defeat this virus, and that’s just what we’ve been doing.
“And now, tens of millions of Americans have been vaccinated. They’re able to return to closer to a closer-to-normal life,” the president added.
The White House is planning to launch a marketing blitz to encourage unvaccinated Americans to get vaccinated, including “blanketing” social media, television and radio with ads promoting vaccination, providing resources for colleges and universities to encourage students to become vaccinated and an effort to get Black-owned barbershops and salons to offer on-site vaccinations.
“We need everyone across the country to pull together to get us over the finish line,” Biden said. “Give it your all through July the 4th to reach our 70% goal. Let’s go into the summer freer and safer. Let’s celebrate a truly historic Independence Day.”