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COVID-19: Where are we at?

White House officials say we may miss the goal of having 70% of eligible adults receiving at least one shot by July 4, by a few weeks.

MINNEAPOLIS — Talking about the COVID-19 pandemic feels old. Some people might not be so into it anymore. However, the Biden Administration's COVID Task Force brought to light a few interesting points this morning that are worth revisiting.

Remember that goal from President Biden of trying to have at least 70% of eligible adults receive at least one dose of the COVID vaccine by July 4th? The task force announced this morning that it won't be until a few weeks after the Fourth that we will achieve that goal as a nation.

They did highlight a few good points though.

"Already we're at almost 90% for 65 and older, over 75% for 40 and older, and 70% for 30 and older," White House Coronavirus Advisor Jeff Zients said. "We will meet the 70% goal for ages 27 and older by the end of July Fourth weekend, with a few extra weeks needed for 18 to 26 year-olds to get vaccinated."

The missing of the deadline can be attributed to hesitancy regarding vaccinations when it comes to younger adults. 

Younger adults - for whatever reason - may have decided that the pandemic doesn't affect them. The White House said it's been working with social media groups and companies like online gaming companies to get the message out that we need them to be vaccinated.

"This includes major sports leagues, which are offering discounts and ticket giveaways," The U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said. "Spotify, which has launched sweepstakes giveaways for tickets offering tickets to music venues, and includes stores that gives gifts for customers who show their vaccination cards."

This is especially crucial because right now we're on close watch for variants.

The Delta variant is what officials are calling 'COVID on steroids.' It currently accounts for about one out of five cases in the U.S. and is twice as likely to leave patients hospitalized.

The good news is the vaccines that are currently available here are effective against this variant.

"When you look at hospitalizations, again, both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca, are between 92 and 96 percent effective against hospitalizations," NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said. "You put all these things together and you come to what we call a self evident conclusion."

In terms of vaccinations here in our state, nearly 67% of Minnesotans eligible have received at least one dose.

The department of health is now reporting 80 new cases, which is the lowest since April of 2020.

With the pandemic having no on or off switch, or a formal declaration of victory day, it's over when you feel like it is over. 

Too that point, health officials are saying there is still a lot more work to do when it comes to defeating COVID, and that just because the U.S. population will reach a 70% vaccination rate in the near future, doesn't mean the efforts will stop there.

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