White House says it'll take a few extra weeks to hit Biden's vaccine goal

After reaching multiple goals related to the nation's COVID-19 vaccination effort, it seems likely the Biden administration will miss its upcoming July 4th milestone. The president previously said his administration was hoping to reach a 70-percent COVID-19 vaccination rate among adults ages 18 and older in the US by July 4, but now the White House says it'll take a few extra weeks to hit that goal.

Under the latest goal, the White House hopes that at least one vaccine dose will be administered to 70-percent or more of adults in the US by Independence Day. The nation is already close to that number, but as many have speculated in recent days, the administration has acknowledged that it will most likely take a few weeks longer to reach that goal.

As of today, June 22, the CDC reports that 150 million people in the US have been fully vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. That's 53.4-percent of the total population. When focusing only on adults ages 18 and older, a bit more than 65-percent of people have received at least one vaccine dose, with 55.9-percent fully vaccinated.

Demand for the COVID-19 vaccines has dipped in the Southern and Midwestern regions of the US, raising concerns among public health officials who are heavily encouraging young people to get the vaccine. Though misinformation and conspiracy theories have resulted in some people avoiding the vaccine, others — particularly those who are young and healthy — may simply have put it off out of a lack of concern about their personal risk.

Increasing concerns about the 'delta' variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus have spurred pleas for younger people to get the vaccine, as well as others who may remain unvaccinated but who can safely receive the vaccine. According to the White House's statement today, the 70-percent threshold has been reached among adults ages 30 and older, but it'll take until at least mid-July to expand that percentage to the 18 and older age groups.