US will reallocate COVID vaccines to states with more interest

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Use it or lose it.

The Biden administration will begin reallocating COVID-19 vaccine doses from states with lower demand to those with greater interest — as part of a new push to get at least 70 percent of Americans inoculated by July 4.

The shift comes as the overall demand for vaccines has dropped nationwide, with some states turning down their full or part of their weekly allocation for doses.

The feds will now start giving the declined doses to other states in an effort to speed up vaccination efforts in those areas, a senior administration official said Tuesday.

Any state could turn down doses one week but still apply for a surplus the following week, the official said.

An official places a new shipment of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines into storage in Vernon, California.
An official places a new shipment of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines into storage in Vernon, California.
Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This week, Iowa turned down nearly three-quarters of the shots available it in its upcoming shipment due to low interest in vaccines.

The White House notified governors about the change Tuesday morning.

People stand in line to get COVID-19 vaccines in Reading, Pennsylvania on April 21, 2021.
People stand in line to get COVID-19 vaccines in Reading, Pennsylvania, on April 21, 2021.
Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

On Tuesday afternoon, Biden is set to announce a new goal of getting at least one shot into the arms of 70 percent of Americans by July 4 — and reaching 160 million fully vaccinated by the same date.

Currently, 44.4 percent of people in the US — and 56.3 percent of adults — have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Meanwhile, about 105 million Americans are fully vaccinated against the virus.

In addition to the shifting allocations, the president plans to direct pharmacies and state sites to allow walk-in appointments, the official said.

A Health Department employee uses a box cutter to open the first shipment of J&J COVID-19 vaccines at Louisville Metro Health and Wellness headquarters on March 4, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky.
A Health Department employee uses a box cutter to open the first shipment of J&J COVID-19 vaccines at Louisville Metro Health and Wellness headquarters on March 4, 2021, in Louisville, Kentucky.
Jon Cherry/Getty Images

To get vaccines to more hard-to-reach regions, FEMA will also launch pop-up and smaller sites as well as increase the number of mobile units.

Experts have said that between 70 percent and 90 percent of the US will likely need to be vaccinated or infected to reach herd immunity.

44.4 percent of people in the US have gotten at least their first vaccination for COVID-19.
Currently, 44.4 percent of people in the US have gotten at least their first vaccination for COVID-19.
Jon Cherry/Getty Images

But scientists are increasingly expressing skepticism that the US will reach that status — as more contagious COVID-19 variants spread and many Americans remain hesitant to get the jab.

With Post wires

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