President Biden in vaccination push speech in Raleigh: ‘Don’t put it off, just do it’

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – President Joe Biden delivered remarks at a Raleigh community center Thursday to promote COVID-19 vaccinations.

Biden exited Air Force One just before 4 p.m. and was greeted by Gov. Roy Cooper and EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan on the RDU International Airpot TARMAC.

Regan is a Goldsboro native who served as secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality before being tapped to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in March.

The two spoke for several minutes before the president got into a limousine to head to Green Road Community Center.

The president arrived at the community center at 4:25 p.m. to groups of supporters and also anti-vaccine protesters.

Around 5:30 p.m., the president began his speech at Green Road Community Center where he highlighted the importance of vaccinations and a community canvassing event.

While in Raleigh, Biden toured a mobile vaccination unit and met with frontline workers and volunteers who are working to get people in the community vaccinated, according to the White House.

The push to continue getting shots in arms comes as both North Carolina and the country as a whole are expected to miss Biden’s goal of having 70 percent of adults at least partially vaccinated by the July 4 holiday.

North Carolina ranks 38th nationally in terms of its share of partially vaccinated adults. A previous data analysis found that the state likely won’t reach Biden’s goal until Thanksgiving.

CDC study this week finds those between 18 and 24 years old were among those with the lowest reported vaccination coverage as well as the lowest intent to get vaccinated. And barely over a third of those between 18 and 39 have gotten a shot.

Locally, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services groups those ages differently. But the trend is exactly the same, with only 35 percent of people between 18 and 24 getting at least one dose.

So it’s no surprise that as their vaccine numbers lag, their case numbers are up — especially as the virus continues to circulate among those pockets of unvaccinated people.

People between 18 and 24 continue to account for 1 in 7 new cases of COVID-19. 

And those between 18 and 29 have made up 11 percent of COVID-related hospital admissions since June 1 — more than double their rate of 4.5 percent of admissions since DHHS began making those figures available in October 2020.

Biden’s visit comes the day after North Carolina had its first drawing for a $1 million vaccine lottery.

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