The next 100 days of President Joe Biden’s term will test his administration in a critical new way: Convincing those who are not yet vaccinated to do so while making it more convenient for them to get their shot.
With an overwhelming majority of seniors now vaccinated, the Biden administration is turning its focus to working Americans under 50, looking for ways to incentivize businesses to encourage vaccination and trying to ensure ease of access with appointment-free vaccination at local pharmacies. And officials concede progress will look different this time because there are fewer people eager to get vaccinated, leading to an emphasis on new metrics like death rate.
“Every 1% from here on out will represent incredible progress for the country,” Andy Slavitt, a top official on the White House’s coronavirus response team, told CNN.
Between ramping up the manufacturing and supply of coronavirus vaccines to building out an infrastructure of tens of thousands of additional vaccination sites, Biden’s first 100 days brought significant progress in beating back the pandemic, with nearly 55% of US adults having now gotten at least one coronavirus vaccine dose.
Biden’s first 100 days in office were defined by his team’s efforts, and at times struggles, to ramp up vaccine supply and accessibility. Many say that was the easy part and the next stage will be tougher – but don’t tell that to Slavitt.
“There’s this frame that people are trying to use, which is, OK, they did the easy part, now’s the time for the hard part,’” he told CNN. “There has been no easy part.”
Still, the next 100 days will be critical to determining whether Biden can finish the job.
Officials described the next phase of the vaccination effort as a more targeted ground game that will “go from big swings to short strokes,” according to one official, heavily leveraging the federal retail pharmacy program to get shots in arms and a network of thousands of organizations and businesses working with the government to combat vaccine hesitancy. Some states are also now allocating doses to primary care doctors in an effort to reach their patients.
The White House is also planning to put new emphasis on metrics that show that the vaccines are working, like the d