JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – President Joe Biden has set a goal of having 160 million Americans, or 70% of adults, get at least one shot by July 4. Vermont is the only state that’s already there, but seven other states are all above 60%.
On Friday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data showed 51% of American adults have received at least one dose and 41% were fully vaccinated.
While vaccination rates for American adults continue to rise, the pace has slowed as cases, hospitalizations and deaths from the virus have fallen and the country has emerged from the pandemic. Progress across the country is uneven, with southern and western states lagging.
Four states’ first-shot vaccination rates are below 40% -- all but two of them in the South. Georgia’s rate surpassed 40% on Friday.
Florida’s rate overall was 49.9% for one shot on Saturday, with 39.9% fully vaccinated. But even within the Sunshine State, the rate varies. St. John County has fully vaccinated 58% of adults, compared to 45% in Duval County, 35% in Clay County, 29% in Putnam County and 23% in Baker County.
Biden on Wednesday announced a “month of action” to urge more Americans to get vaccinated before the July 4 holiday, including a collection of incentives and a slew of new steps to ease barriers and make getting shots more appealing to those who haven’t received them. Dangling everything from sports tickets to a free beer, Biden is looking for anything that will get people to roll up their sleeves for COVID-19 shots when the promise of a life-saving vaccine by itself hasn’t been enough.
Among the efforts underway to make getting a vaccine easier include keeping some sites open 24 hours on Fridays and arranging for day care centers to offer free child care while parents get vaccinated. The administration said it supports a plan by Anheuser-Busch to give adults 21 and over a free beer, seltzer or nonalcoholic beverage if the country reaches 70% goal by Independence Day.
News4Jax is supporting the #WeCanDoThis campaign. We’re updating stories daily about vaccine availability and developments to make it easy to get your shot. To kick off the Month of Action, News4Jax hosted a phone bank with doctors answering your questions about vaccinations.
The latest poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed steady progress in vaccine uptake, with 62% of American adults saying they’ve gotten at least one shot, up from 56% in April. The share of people saying they will “wait and see” fell from 15% to 12%.
One third (32%) of unvaccinated adults said formal Food and Drug Administration approval of the vaccines would make them more likely to get vaccinated, and 21% of unvaccinated employed poll respondents said they would be more inclined to do so if their employer gave them paid time off to get vaccinated and recover from side effects.
The percentage of poll respondents saying they will get vaccinated “only if required” (7%) or will “definitely not” get a vaccine (13%) have not changed over the last several months.