President Joe Biden announced on May 4 that his goal for COVID vaccinations was to have 70% of all adults ages 18 and older would have at least one shot by the symbolic July fourth holiday.

Instead of being able to celebrate his failed goal, White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients will instead highlight other vaccination milestones that were not previously public targets.  Instead, Zients will announce 70% of adults ages 30 and older have had at least one shot, and by July 4th, the U.S. will have vaccinated 70% of Americans 27 and older with one shot, a White Official said.

As of Tuesday, 65.4% of adults ages 18 and older had at least one shot, which means at the current pace, it’s unlikely that goal of 70% will be attained by next Sunday.  Realistically, it will probably take a few extra weeks.
Earlier this month, Biden had called for a national month of action, an “All American Sprint” to reach the goal and a summer of freedom.  “We can do this,” Biden said.  Also, early in June Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser, remained confident that the U.S. would hit Biden’s target.

As of Tuesday, on average, 392,000 adults are getting their first dose each day.  With approximately 11.8 million more adults needing to be vaccinated with their first dose in order to reach the 70% number by July fourth, 12 days away, there would need to be 990,000 daily vaccinations.  That means at the current rate the U.S. will fall about 7.1 million shots short of the 70% goal.  That would result in 67.2%, 2.8% short of Biden’s goal.

So, for now, according to a White House official, the plan is to focus on what has already been achieved, including plummeting cases and deaths.  But the failure of attaining the goal is another missed mark for the Biden administration, which has often been criticized for setting vaccination goals that were not seen as ambitious.

Instead of the 70% celebration, the White House will tout its own July fourth celebration plans with 1,000 first responders and military personnel on the South Lawn to view the traditional fireworks on the National Mall, where thousands will likely gather.

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