Biden visits Raleigh community center

President Joe Biden greets members of the audience after speaking during a visit to a mobile COVID-19 vaccination unit at the Green Road Community Center in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday, June 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

RALEIGH — President Joe Biden flew to Raleigh on Thursday to urge people to roll up their sleeves as part of a nationwide “month of action” to drive up the COVID-19 vaccination rate before the Independence Day holiday. The White House is rolling out increasingly localized programs to encourage specific communities to get vaccinated.

“The best way to protect yourself against the virus and its variants is to be fully vaccinated,” Biden said after he toured a mobile vaccination unit and met with frontline workers and volunteers. “It works. It’s free. It’s safe. It’s easy.”

Biden’s White House will fall far short of a 70% goal first announced by the president in early May.

That number, however, appears to not take into consideration natural immunity from those who have already had the virus.

Biden chatted with those in attendance at the event, taking selfies as the Green Road Community Center played music.

The event was not open to local media.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.