President Joe Biden has issued a new challenge for the American population during the COVID-19 pandemic. During a recent address, Biden stated that he hopes to have 70% of American adults vaccinated against the virus by July 4. If this goal is reached, the President hopes that Americans can enjoy a summer that is "dramatically different from last year's summer."
“Americans [are] headed into [a] summer [that is] dramatically different from last year's summer,” Biden said.
“A summer of freedom, a summer of joy, a summer of get-togethers and celebrations, an all-American summer that this country deserves after a long, long dark winter that we've all endured.”
In hopes of reaching more Americans, Biden has enlisted the help of barbershops and salons. Through the “Shots at the Shop” initiative, 1,000 barbershops and salons will provide vaccine education materials and host vaccination events. To execute their plan, the Biden administration will partner with the Black Coalition Against COVID, the University of Maryland Center for Health Equity and SheaMoisture.
Unfortunately, many of those who remain unvaccinated are people of color. There are a number of reasons for this including apprehension toward the U.S. healthcare system, lack of vaccination sites in certain areas and short windows of time to access the vaccine. By connecting with local hot spots like barbershops and salons, the Biden administration hopes that it reaches the communities hardest hit by the pandemic.
“The ‘Shots at the Shop’ initiative will invite participation from across the country, with a particular focus on supporting shops in some of the hardest-hit localities still experiencing significant gaps in vaccination rates,” the White Housestated.
With about one month to go, approximately 52% of Americans have been fully vaccinated. In order to reach their goal, the Biden administration will have to push for 18.5 million more people to be vaccinated.
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