White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeffrey Zeints said Sunday despite the Biden administration falling short of its goal of a 70% vaccination rate nationally by July 4, confidence in inoculations have “grown steadily.”
In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Zeints said local doctors are "the most trusted messenger,” and will be key to the process.
“Confidence in the vaccine, those who want to get the vaccine [has] grown steadily across time as people have had friends and family and neighbors get vaccinated and they see the safety and effectiveness,” he said. “I do believe confidence will continue to grow but we need to make it easier to get the vaccines and we have vaccines in doctor's offices and clinics.”
According to Zeints, 90% of those over 65 years old, and 70% of those 27 and up have had at least one shot.
“The trend is positive,” he said. “We need to continue to meet people where they are and make it easier to get the vaccine…. We need to answer people's questions… about the vaccine and the safety and the efficacy.”
“The most trusted messenger is the local doctor … so increasingly we have vaccines in doctor's officers and healthcare clinics so people can get their questions answered and roll up their sleeves and get a shot,” he said.
Zeints also suggested there’s no talk of returning to a mask mandate as the the “Delta variant” of the coronavirus continues to increase in the United States.
“The preference is people get vaccinated so they are protected,” he said. “And if you are not vaccinated, you do have to mask up and to protect yourself and others.
Experts predict the Delta variant will become troublesome in five states that have low vaccination rates and low incidence of COVID-19 infection. Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Wyoming are considered hot spots for the more transmissible form of the coronavirus that was first detected in India and is now invading the U.S.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former chief of the Food and Drug Administration, said that while the virus won’t be as pervasive as the first wave of the pandemic, there will most likely be regional outbreaks in certain rural and southern pockets of the country.
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