Biden urges shots for young adults as variant concern grows

FILE - In this June 18, 2021 file photo, President Joe Biden speaks about COVID-19 vaccination shots, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. The administration is releasing new data Tuesday showing it expects to reach 70% of Americans aged 27 and older with at least one shot by the July 4 holiday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government is stepping up efforts to get younger Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 as the White House acknowledges it will miss two key vaccination benchmarks and as concern grows about the spread of a new variant that threatens to set the country back in the months ahead.