The Biden administration will acknowledge on Tuesday that it expects to miss the US president’s target of vaccinating 70 per cent of American adults by July 4, according to a White House official.
Joe Biden set the goal early last month, but the country’s blistering vaccine rollout has fallen short as health officials struggle against vaccine hesitancy.
Officials were set to announce on Tuesday that 70 per cent of Americans aged over 30 have been vaccinated, but to confirm the likely failure to meet the wider goal of getting 70 per cent of all adults at least one jab in time for the independence day celebrations.
Among US adults aged 18 and older, 65 per cent have received at least one vaccine dose, according to figures from the US Centers for Disease Control. More than 150m Americans are fully vaccinated.
State officials across the country have created innovative campaigns to encourage vaccine uptake such as offering free beer and guns, as well as million-dollar raffles, but the speed of the immunisation programme has faltered in the past few weeks.
The need to vaccinate holdouts has taken on fresh urgency as the Delta variant, which first emerged in India, spreads across the US. The variant has swept across the UK and has been blamed for rising cases in other parts of the world.