Don’t expect the vaccination rate to keep climbing: The White House says it will ‘moderate and fluctuate’ going forward

White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients said Friday that the daily vaccination rate will “moderate and fluctuate” going forward, an acknowledgement that the campaign is now shifting to try to reach less eager people.

“Going forward we expect daily vaccination rates will moderate and fluctuate,” Zients said at a press briefing. “We’ve gotten vaccinations to the most at-risk and those most eager to get vaccinated as quickly as possible. And we will continue those efforts, but we know reaching other populations will take time and focus.”

The comments come as the daily vaccination rate in the United States, which had been climbing steadily for weeks, has now come back down modestly in recent days, falling just below 3 million shots per day.

Efforts to break through: The White House said it is entering a new phase of the campaign where it is stepping up efforts to try to get more hesitant people to get shots. For example, it is partnering with celebrities like Eva Longoria and Ryan Seacrest to promote vaccination on social media, as well as sports leagues like NASCAR and the NBA.

Zients said officials will encourage walk-up vaccination sites where people do not need an appointment. New York City announced Friday that it is making its city-run vaccination sites open to walk-ups.