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Biden: Federal COVID-19 Vaccination Effort Will Go ‘Door to Door’ to Get People Shots

U.S. News & World Report logo U.S. News & World Report 7/6/2021 Cecelia Smith-Schoenwalder
Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie: President Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 vaccination program during an event in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) © (Evan Vucci/AP) President Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 vaccination program during an event in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden on Tuesday said that the federal government's vaccination efforts will shift from mass vaccination sites to "literally knocking on doors" in some instances to get people inoculated against the coronavirus.

"We are continuing to wind down the mass vaccination sites that did so much in the spring to rapidly vaccinate those eager to get their first shot and their second shot for that matter, if they needed a second," Biden said in the South Court Auditorium at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building near the White House. "Now we need to go to community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and oft times door to door – literally knocking on doors – to get help to the remaining people protected from the virus."

Biden's message came after he fell short of his July 4 vaccination goal to reach 70% of U.S. adults with at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. The figure currently stands at just over 67%.

The Biden administration hopes to address concerns causing vaccine hesitancy with its more targeted approach to communities. But it's unclear how the door-to-door strategy will be received – especially among the 10% of unvaccinated adults who cited conspiracy theories or misinformation about the vaccines, skepticism of drug companies or general anti-government or anti-vaccine sentiment in a Morning Consult poll that asked why they won't get the shot.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 55% of the entire U.S. population is at least partially vaccinated against the coronavirus.

But Biden urged more people to get the shot as the highly transmissible delta variant spreads. The variant makes up about 25% of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. and is expected to become the dominant strain in the coming weeks.

[ MAP: The Spread of Coronavirus ]

"Right now, as I speak to you, millions of Americans are still unvaccinated and unprotected," Biden said. "And because of that their communities are at risk, their friends are at risk, the people they care about are at risk. This is an even bigger concern because of the delta variant."

He said the variant should "cause everybody to think twice" but specifically the "young people who may have thought that they didn't have to be vaccinated."

Future federal efforts to get people vaccinated during the summer will put a focus on communities, including making the shots available at local pharmacies, family doctors' offices and worksites when possible, Biden said.

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