Biden administration reportedly 'running out of ideas' for boosting pace of vaccinations

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
(Image credit: GRANT HINDSLEY/AFP via Getty Images)

After falling short on its Fourth of July goal, the Biden administration is facing "few remaining options" for significantly boosting the COVID-19 vaccination rate in the United States, officials told Politico.

President Biden's administration "is running out of ideas for jumpstarting the pace of coronavirus vaccinations," Politico reported, with officials predicting a "grinding effort" to get more Americans vaccinated that may last months.

"We are under no illusions that each person in this stage will take longer to reach," a senior administration official told Politico. "The first 180 million were much easier than the next 5 million."

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The report comes after the Biden administration narrowly fell short on its goal to vaccinate 70 percent of American adults with at least one dose by July 4, as about 67 percent of U.S. adults had received a COVID-19 vaccine dose by then, CBS News reports. Former acting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Richard Besser told Politico that "we were spoiled in a sense by the early numbers," as they "represented all of this pent-up demand for the vaccine," but "there is a core group in every segment that has lower vaccination rates where there's just not going to be any movement."

The Biden administration is "strategizing over how to manage a nation" where parts of the country will face "periodic outbreaks" of COVID-19, with its expectation being that the vaccination effort will eventually "fade into the background," Politico writes. Biden recently said officials need to be "literally knocking on doors" to "get help to the remaining people" who haven't been vaccinated, and according to Politico, federal officials have been meeting with school associations to urge them to make schools vaccination sites.

At the same time, Politico reports that numerous federal and state officials in interviews acknowledged that their outreach efforts aren't "likely to supercharge vaccination rates." Read more at Politico.

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.