- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 24, 2021

The Biden administration is ramping up efforts to encourage Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19, with the president and the first lady making separate public appearances at vaccine sites Thursday.

The aggressive vaccine push comes just days after the administration acknowledged that it will miss two key vaccination goals and as fears grow about the spread of a new delta variant that is more transmittable and deadlier than previous COVID-19 infections.

Earlier this week, the Biden administration conceded that it will likely miss its targets of having 70% of adults across the country receiving at least one shot and 160 million Americans fully vaccinated by July 4.

President Biden is traveling Thursday to Raleigh, North Carolina, which is lagging behind other states in vaccination rates.

About 65% of adults across the country have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In North Carolina, only about 55% of adults have received a shot, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Mr. Biden will visit a mobile vaccination unit and meet with frontline workers and volunteers. He also will deliver remarks highlighting the importance of getting vaccinated.

First lady Jill Biden has scheduled appearances Thursday in Tampa and Kissimmee, Florida.

In Kissimmee, Mrs. Biden will stop by a drive-through vaccination site. She also will join the Tampa Lightning hockey team for its “Shots on Ice” vaccination event.

The initiative will provide free two-dose shots of the Pfizer and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Anyone who receives a vaccine shot will be able to take a shot on the ice at the Lightning’s arena.

The Lightning also will raffle off prizes like tickets and gear.

About 44% of adults in Florida are fully vaccinated.

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