President Joe Biden flubbed the name of the website set up to encourage and educate the public on getting inoculated against COVID-19, calling it ‘vaccine.gum’ instead of vaccine.gov and urging Americans to follow the advice of the ‘CCD.’
‘We’re going to make it easier than ever to get vaccinated. Visit vaccines.gum – .gov, vaccines.gum – or text to, text your zip code to 438829,’ Biden fumbled during a speech on the state of vaccines in the U.S.
The president appeared to try and fix his mistake by repeating the incorrect URL.
Twitter erupted into jokes about how there is now ‘vaccine gum’.
‘They got vaccine gum now,’ one users wrote, with another requesting: ‘I’ll take the menthol vaccine gum, please.’
President Joe Biden fumbled over his words Tuesday when announcing the URL for the website set up for vaccine, calling it – twice – vaccine.gum. ‘We’re going to make it easier than ever to get vaccinated. Visit vaccines.gum – .gov, vaccines.gum – or text to, text your zip code to 438829,’ Biden said during a speech on the state of vaccines
The website vaccine.gov was set up to help educate Americans about the coroanvirus vaccines, make them more accessible and combat hesitancy from some communities
Biden also told Americans during his remarks Tuesday afternoon that they can now ‘walk into your local pharmacy without an appointment’ to get the vaccine.
The website for vaccines gives information on getting inoculated and presents information to help combat vaccine hesitancy, especially in certain communities – like minorities and those on the right.
It also aims to increase accessibility for Americans who cannot easily get to a location for a vaccination.
Biden also stumbled when referring to the acronym for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“I’m asking people to continue to follow the CCD guidance – CDC guidelines,” he quickly clarified.
During the remarks from the White House, Biden set a new goal for 160 million Americans to be fully vaccinated by July 4th and for 70 per cent of adults to have one shot in the arm by then to help return the country to normal.
At the same time, he acknowledged 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,’ Biden 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 vaccinated people in the next fall.’
He said his new goals, which include vaccinating teens and increasing vaccine education, are part of ‘an effort to get this country back closer to normal.’
‘But we’re not there yet,’ he said in remarks Tuesday afternoon at the White House.
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 CDC data.
The White House also told governors Tuesday morning they will be shifting to a ‘use it or lose it’ policy with distributing vaccinations to states.
The plan will begin redistributing vaccine doses from states where they are going unused to other areas of the country where there is higher demand.
The number of new shots administered dropped this week to its lowest point in three months.
The new procedure will make sure unused doses are added to a federal bank and made available to states where demand outweighs supply.
States who do no use or refuse their full allocation in one week will not lose out permanently, and only have to hand over their doses to the government on a week-by-week basis.
Initial distribution will still depend on the adult population in each state.
In recent weeks, many states have seen large amounts of those doses not being distributed – unlike earlier this year where most states found it almost impossible to keep stocked in order to keep up with demand.
Notably, the administration rejected Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s plea to surge vaccines to her state as it faced a surge in cases in March and April.
Arkansas officials confirmed that they declined their entire share of vaccine doses last week and this week Iowa turned down nearly three quarters of the doses available to the state claiming demand for the shots remains weak there.
The president also acknowledged his administration has work to do to combat vaccine hesitancy.
‘There’s some evidence we still had a good dose of vaccine being administered the last two weeks, and it’s still moving. But we know we’re going to get to a place where the doubters exist or the people were just, I want to say lazy, just not sure how to get to where they want to go. It’s going to be hard. So we’re going to keep adding,’ he said.
He said he called on businesses to give employees paid time off to get vaccinated to help ease any obstacles in people’s paths but said there was more work to be done.
‘We’re working with major businesses like grocery stores to provide special deals like discounts to shoppers who come to the storage to get vaccinated,’ he said.
‘We’re going to have to bring the vaccine to people who are less eager. So we also know that there are millions of Americans who just need a little bit of encouragement to get the shot,’ he noted.
A CNN poll out last week found a quarter of adults say they will not try to get the shot.
Biden also set a new goal for 160 million Americans to be fully vaccinated by July 4th and for 70 per cent of adults to have one shot by then
Previously, Biden has dangled July 4th as a day that small groups of people who have been vaccinated could gather to celebrate the holiday.
‘The more you vaccinate people, the more you can pull back on some of the public health restrictions, and that really is a goal and the goal of the president, to get people vaccinated as quickly as we possibly can with the goal of 70%,’ another senior administration official said.
‘By the Fourth of July so that we can do what we all want to do is to continue and gradually pull back on the restrictions. So now we can get back to our normal lives,’ the person added.
Additionally, as the demand for the coronavirus vaccine has dropped nationwide, the administration will spend $630 million on vaccine outreach and education.
That money includes $250 million for community outreach; $130 million on vaccine education and information, and $250 million directly to states and territories for their vaccine efforts.
The focus on raising the vaccination rate will be on the community level.
‘Communities that can achieve 70% vaccination rate will in fact see a sharp decline in individual cases, which will lead ultimately to a decline in hospitalizations, which as we know from our experience will ultimately obviously lead to a diminution in the number of deaths,’ another senior administration official said.
‘Each community must individually strive to reach the goal of vaccinating 70% of his population by July Fourth,’ the person added.
As part of that Biden will order thousands of pharmacies in the federal pharmacy program to allow walk-in vaccinate appointments, redirect FEMA resources to pop-up clinics, and raise the shipments of the vaccine to rural health centers.
Biden will also encourage adolescents to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Pfizer said its two-shot vaccine is safe for 12 to 16 year olds but it still needs FDA final approval.
‘The FDA alone will make that decision. Today, I want American parents to know that if that announcement comes, we are ready to move immediately,’ he said.
As of Tuesday, 31.8 percent of Americans are inoculated against coronavirus and 44.4 percent have received at least one shot.
As vaccinations rise, daily infections are beginning to fall off, with the average number of daily cases declining nearly 15 percent to fewer than 50,000 a day in the past week.
The seven-day rolling average of daily infections is now the lowest it’s been since October 10. Likely as a result of the rising vaccinations and falling caseload, daily deaths have fallen to fewer than 700 on average, holding steady there for the past week.
But stalling vaccinations threaten to reverse that progress. Daily shots have plummeted to an average of fewer than 2.5 million a day, down from the peak of nearly 3.2 million on April 11.
The White House, meanwhile, told governors on a call Tuesday that the coronavirus vaccine supply they are not using will become available to other states.
Each state’s share of the adult population will still determine weekly allocations. But instead of allowing unordered doses to carry over, the White House will send the untapped supply into a stockpile for other states to request.