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Jeff Zients blames missing Biden’s 70% COVID vaccine goal on 20-somethings ‘feeling less vulnerable’

White House COVID coordinator Jeff Zients blames missing Biden’s 70% COVID-19 vaccination goal on 20-somethings ‘feeling less vulnerable to the disease’

  • Jeff Zients blamed people in their 20s for the U.S. missing Joe Biden’s goal to get 70 per cent of Americans at least one dose of the vaccine by July 4, 2021 
  • ‘Younger people, particularly those in their 20s, have felt less vulnerable to the disease and, therefore, less eager to get shots,’ Zients said Sunday
  • Biden also wanted 160 million Americans to be fully vaccinated by Independence Day – another goal of which he fell short

The White House blamed on Sunday younger Americans for screwing up Joe Biden‘s goal of hitting a U.S.-wide 70 per cent one-shot vaccination by Independence Day.

Jeff Zients, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, told ABC News that 20-somethings have a low vaccination rate because they have felt ‘less vulnerable’ to contracting and falling fatal to coronavirus.

‘Younger people, particularly those in their 20s, have felt less vulnerable to the disease and, therefore, less eager to get shots,’ Zients told This Week fill-in host Martha Raddatz.

‘They were made eligible later so they have not been eligible as long and we continue to see hundreds of thousands of young people vaccinated each week,’ he continued, referencing the triage of vaccinations earlier on in the roll out.

Biden set a goal to get 70 per cent of Americans at least one shot by January 4, 2021 – and 160 million Americans fully immunized by the same date.

The White House fell short of both these goals.

White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients blamed people in their 20s for the U.S. missing Joe Biden’s goal to get 70 per cent of Americans at least one dose of the vaccine by July 4, 2021

'Younger people, particularly those in their 20s, have felt less vulnerable to the disease and, therefore, less eager to get shots,' Zients told This Week fill-in host Martha Raddatz

‘Younger people, particularly those in their 20s, have felt less vulnerable to the disease and, therefore, less eager to get shots,’ Zients told This Week fill-in host Martha Raddatz

Biden wanted 160 million Americans to be fully vaccinated by Independence Day – another goal of which he fell short

Biden wanted 160 million Americans to be fully vaccinated by Independence Day – another goal of which he fell short

Other than young people, some southern states like Texas and Alabama have more hesitations towards getting vaccinated, which is driving down the national average.

Elderly and immune-suppressed individuals were prioritized with the vaccine roll out when Biden took office. The last group to become eligible at the height of demand for the vaccine were younger, healthy Americans.

The age minimum for a shot was at 16 until in May, when the Food and Drug Administration approved use for those as young as 12.

Now, Pfizer – one of the three vaccinations approved for emergency use in the U.S. – said it will apply for authorization for children as young as 2-years-old in September.

‘We need to continue to vaccinate everyone, particularly young people, because what we know is if you are vaccinated you’re protected,’ Zients promoted.

He added: ‘And if you’re not vaccinated, you’re not protected. And that’s particularly important for everyone, including young people, in light of the Delta variant.’

The White House is holding a BBQ celebration for the Fourth of July on Sunday with first responders and military families. There have been questions raised whether this is a good idea with the Delta variant surging. 

But Zients defended the celebration.

‘Now, I assume they’re taking precautions. But is having large crowds gather really the right message right now?’ Raddatz asked Zients.

‘We are much further along than anyone anticipated, with two out of three adult Americans already having received their first dose. That is worthy of celebration,’ he responded. 

Zients assured: ‘The event at the White House is being done in the right way. It’s an outdoor event with testing and screening. Vaccinated people are not wearing masks. Unvaccinated people masked. So, it’s being done in the right way, consistent with CDC guidelines.’

Despite missing Biden’s ambitious goal, Zients praised other milestones met in terms of vaccinations.

He told CNN in a separate interview on Sunday that ‘two out of three adult Americans’ have at least one shot – including a 90 per cent of seniors, or those over 65.

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