(CNN)President Joe Biden on Friday marked the United States administering 300 million Covid-19 shots in 150 days, urging unvaccinated Americans to roll up their sleeves to protect themselves against emerging variants of the virus.
In a speech at the White House on Friday, Biden called 300 million shots in 150 days “a truly American accomplishment.”
“Just remember what the situation was like 150 days ago,” Biden said. “We didn’t have enough vaccine supply for all Americans. We didn’t have the vaccine infrastructure or the people to administer the vaccines or the places where the people could get vaccinated. But we turned it around together by working quickly, aggressively and equitably.”
While touting his administration’s national vaccination effort, which has brought Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths down significantly in recent months, the President also emphasized the need to get other Americans vaccinated.
“The truth is that deaths and hospitalizations are drastically down in places where people are getting vaccinated,” Biden said. “But unfortunately, cases and hospitalizations are not going down in many places, in the lower vaccination rate states. They’re actually going up in some places.”
Biden specifically warned about the prevalence of a new coronavirus variant and its potential effects on unvaccinated individuals.
Federal officials are pointing to the emerging B.1.617.2, or Delta, variant, which was first identified in India, as yet another reason to get vaccinated. Andy Slavitt, a former White House senior adviser for Covid-19 response, told CNN on Wednesday that the Delta variant is like “Covid on steroids.”
Biden said on Friday that “the new variant will leave unvaccinated people even more vulnerable than they (were) a month ago. This is a serious concern, especially because of what experts are calling the Delta variant. It’s a variant that is more easily transmissible, potentially deadlier, and particularly dangerous for young people.”
“The best way to protect yourself from these variants are to get fully vaccinated,” he added.
Asked whether the Delta variant could send the US back into lockdown, the President said no, but added that it could lead to more deaths among unvaccinated individuals.
Biden has set a goal of having 70% of US adults get at least one dose of a Covid-19 va
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