The White House is tapping into the Black barbershop community in an effort to ramp up vaccinations against COVID-19 by July 4.
Titled “Shots at the Shop,” Biden emphasized freedom as he announced his goal of having 70% of American adults at least partially vaccinated and ready to reopen the country. A big factor in reaching that marker is a multi-pronged effort, including the recruitment of 1,000 Black-owned barbershops and salons to serve as vaccination sites and promote the cause nationwide.
Additional elements range from free childcare for parents who want to get vaccinated to partnering with mayors to see which city can grow its vaccination rate the fastest. Athletes across the three major sports in the country—the NBA, NHL, and MLB—plan to offer free vaccines at their competitions, while Anheuser-Busch will give free beer for vaccinated adults aged 21 years and older on the Fourth of July.
“America is heading into the summer dramatically different from last year’s summer,” Biden said. “A summer of freedom, a summer of joy, a summer of get-togethers and celebrations, an all-American summer that this country deserves after a long, long, dark winter that we’ve all endured.” It is a plan that can entice Americans who are already itching to be outside to make sure they are safe for others. In states such as New England and along the West Coast, 70% is already the threshold for vaccinated persons, with Biden hoping more to get there this following week.
Predominantly, states in the South that typically vote Republican, are presenting lagging vaccination rates. Biden’s plan calls for education and tries to disconnect inoculations from party affiliation.
“Every American over 12 years of age, no matter where you live, what you believe, who you voted for, has the right to get vaccinated,” Biden added. “It’s your choice, so please, exercise your freedom, live without fear.”