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US shifts strategy as vaccinations slow

A version of this story appeared in the May 5 edition of CNN's Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction newsletter. Sign up here to receive the need-to-know headlines every weekday.

(CNN)America's vaccination pace is slowing, putting President Joe Biden's pledge for normality from July 4 in jeopardy.

To tackle the threat, Biden on Tuesday announced a strategic shift from mass vaccination drives to utilizing more community clinics and pharmacies in an effort to reach younger Americans, people living in rural areas and those reluctant to get the shot.
"We're going to make it easier than ever to get vaccinated," Biden said in a speech at the White House, announcing the launch of a new phase in the fight against the virus, with a goal of vaccinating -- at least partly -- 70% of adults by Independence Day.
So far, about 145 million adults have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, according to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An additional 35 million adults will need to receive at least one dose to reach the new 70% goal.
"It's an achievable goal. It's a stretch goal but it's an achievable goal," White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain told CNN's Anderson Cooper on "AC360" on Tuesday, adding that "we vaccinated 57% of the adults in this country -- we're on the back half of this project, and so it's going to go a little more slowly."
To meet the goal, Biden directed tens of thousands of pharmacies participating in the federal pharmacy program to offer walk-in appointments and redirect Federal Emergency Management Agency resources to support more pop-up clinics, smaller community vaccination sites and more mobile clinics, senior administration officials said.
The Biden administration will also ship new allocations of Covid-19 vaccines to rural health clinics across the nation and provide extra funding so communities can conduct outreach to help get more Americans vaccinated.