WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The White House says its effort to get more COVID-19 vaccines into American arms is working but there is still a long road ahead.
“Even as we vaccinate Americans in record numbers, we’re still not even halfway there,” said Andy Slavitt, the White House’s senior advisor for COVID-19 Response.
Despite making significant strides, White House officials say there’s still a long way to go when it comes to getting all Americans vaccinated. The good news, however, is they believe the current effort is working.
“I’m really encouraged by these decreased numbers of deaths that I believe to be an impact of vaccination, especially the vaccination of our elderly communities,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.
President Joe Biden earlier this week moved up the date to have all adult Americans eligible to be vaccinated to April 19. The White House is also working to expand community health center vaccine programs.
But Dr. Walensky says the number of new cases and hospital admissions continues to increase.
“I think we’re way too high to be thinking that we’ve won this race,” Walensky said.
“I think what we’re gonna see as we get more and more people vaccinated — the cascading domino effect of less hospitalizations and less death,” Chief White House Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said.
Fauci is encouraging people, especially seniors, to get vaccinated to continue to bring the number of cases down and eventually bring back a sense of normalcy.
“It’s on the way, hang in there,” Fauci said.
The White House Task Force said things could be “back to normal” by the 4th of July, but only if Americans continue to get vaccinated and keep up coronavirus precautions.
“There’s a role for the government to play – many roles for the government to play, we are moving forward on all of those fronts – but there is also a role for the American people to play,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during her White House Press Briefing on Wednesday.