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Biden administration pushes Florida to participate in vaccine 'month of action'

'We've still got a lot of people who can come out and take advantage of one of these COVID-19 vaccines,' Jason Salemi says
Posted at 5:42 PM, Jun 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-02 17:42:06-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — We need Florida's help. That was the message from the Biden Administration Wednesday as it pushed a new initiative to boost vaccinations.

The president called for June to be a "month of action" as he tried to get 70 percent of U.S. adults at least one shot by July 4.

The effort aims to motivate the country with a bunch of new initiatives, including:

  • Free child care options for those getting shots
  • Extended hours at pharmacies
  • Increased vaccine education and outreach
  • Plus, incentives from corporate sponsors; free beer, airfare, baseball tickets, or groceries

Florida native and Assistant Press Secretary Kevin Munoz said it was vital the third-largest state participates.

Assistant Press Secretary Kevin Munoz
Assistant Press Secretary Kevin Munoz speaks about efforts to get more Americans vaccinated against COVID-19.

"Really, our focus is on making sure it's as easy as possible for every American to get vaccinated," Munoz said. "We know that when you're vaccinated, we can go ahead and get back to normal."

The latest data, however, shows Florida could be doing better.

Data from University of South Florida Epidemiologist Jason Salemi showed about 55 percent of Floridians, 15 and older, had at least one shot as of June 1.

University of South Florida Epidemiologist Jason Salemi
Jason Salemi says it could be October before 70 percent of Florida residents are vaccinated.

Salemi's research also projected the state would struggle to reach 70 percent before October, even with double the current vaccination rate.

"We've still got a lot of people who can come out and take advantage of one of these COVID-19 vaccines," Salemi said. "That's our big challenge right now."

Nationally, the U.S. wasn't too far off from the 70 percent goal. Officials said about 63 percent of adult Americans had gotten at least one shot, including 73 percent of those age 40 and over.

Global Coronavirus Tracker:

See map here
Data from The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.