Biden calls on nearly 40K pharmacies to start giving COVID vaccines without appointments
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden (pictured) called on all pharmacies that have partnered with the federal government to begin administering COVID-19 vaccines without appointments
President Joe Biden is directing thousands of pharmacies across the country to administer coronavirus vaccines to Americans without an appointment starting this week.
This means that people can now walk in at any hour to nearly 40,000 drugstores and receive a COVID-19 shot.
‘Walk into your local pharmacy without an appointment,’ Biden said during a televised address on Tuesday afternoon.
‘Go to the doctor or local health clinic. It’s free. It’s nearby. Every adult is eligible. Go get the shot as soon as you can.’
He also called on state-run clinics to offer walk-in vaccinations, though many states, such as New York, have already done so.
During the speech, Biden also outlined other steps of his administration’s new strategy to improve access to the vaccine including a website and texting number.
Several pharmacies had already started administering vaccines with little notice.
CVS and Walgreens both offer same-day appointments and Rite Aid began accepting walk-in vaccinations ‘on a limited basis’ last week.
Some of this is due to slowing demand with the average number of people getting a first or single dose falling 50 percent from the peak on April 13.
‘As we anticipated, the pace of vaccination is slowing now that the majority of American adults have already gotten their first shot,’ Biden said.
‘Soon, we’ll have reached the adults who are most eager to get vaccinated, and at that point, this effort will shift to a new phase.’
Biden also requested that state-run clinics offer walk-in vaccinations for Americans. Pictured: Kate Dusel, an eighth grade teacher, gets her vaccine in Providence, Rhode Island, March 4
The federal government has since rolled out Vaccines.gov, which allows users to search for vaccines near them with their ZIP code.
Similarly, Americans can also text their ZIP code to 438829 to find appointments.
Biden also a goal for 160 million Americans to be fully vaccinated by July 4th and for 70 percent of adults to have one shot in the arm in an effort to return the country to normal life.
But, at the same time, he acknowledge how hard it will be to convince millions of vaccine skeptics to take the shot.
‘I think realistically we can get to that place between now and July 4,’ he said.
‘And, by the way, it’s not like July 4 the doors close. It’s just I picked July 4 to try to get to a place where we get back closer to normal. And so we’re going to be vaccinating people in the next fall.’
The new goal will require close to 100 million additional shots in arms over the next 60 days.
More than 105 million people – 31 percent of the population – have been fully vaccinated and 147 million – 44 percent – have had at least one shot, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.
The president also acknowledged his administration has work to do to combat vaccine hesitancy.
‘But I think what’s going to happen,’ Biden said.
‘It’s my prayer that more and more people who get vaccinated, are going to be listening to people who they love and and are around and they’re gonna say, why don’t just go ahead and do it.’
He added: ‘I think at the end of the day most people will be convinced by the fact that their failure to get the vaccine may cause other people to get sick, and maybe die.’